Action for Children

Working together to help disadvantaged young people in our local communities across the UK.

From before they are born until they are into their twenties, we help disadvantaged children through practical services and programmes that are proven to work. Action for Children is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities and this year we are proud to say that we have been supporting disadvantaged children for 150 years.

We provide vital support to the most disadvantaged children, young people and their families in the heart of local communities across the UK. Last year we had over 550 projects directly support more than 300,000 children, young people and their families. Our essential services provide intensive support for:

  • Families in crisis: Our children and family centres teach parenting skills and provide a safe place for families to come and rebuild their relationships.
  • Disadvantaged young people: We provide practical support and counselling for children and young people who have experienced severe difficulties in their lives such as sexual abuse, domestic violence or antisocial behaviour. We support their education, employment and training opportunities and teach them the skills they need to live independently.
  • Children who can no longer live with their birth families: Our fostering and adoption services create loving and safe new homes for children who have had to be removed from the family home, and provide support and guidance for their foster carers and adoptive parents.
  • Children with disabilities: Our disability services provide specialist care and respite for those families who are struggling to cope with the additional challenges disability can create.
  • Young carers: We support children caring for a sick family member by providing counselling, practical and emotional support. We give young carers the opportunity to befriend and confide in other young people dealing with similar challenges and offer respite from the harsh realities of their lives.

Our history

When Methodist minister Thomas Bowman Stephenson saw children living rough under the arches of Waterloo station in London, he decided he had to act. And his first action was to listen.

He paid children the respect of hearing their stories, before working out the most practical way to help.

A century and a half later, the spirit of our founder remains our inspiration. We take action on behalf of 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers across the UK. Our mission is to do what’s right, do what’s needed, and do what works for children.


Our Organisation

Our ambition
Any child who needs help gets help.

How we deliver
Do what’s right for children. Do what’s needed. Do what works.

Our values
We’re straightforward, honest and analytical.
We partner, we collaborate and we share.
We value evidence and expertise.
We find strengths, we build on positives.
We don’t judge, we don’t belittle, we get on with it.
We think hard, then do, what’s right for children.