The cost of living crisis has led to very tough times for many families in Scotland.

High food and energy prices have led to real pressure for everyone, especially for families who have money worries.

Having to make decisions every day about what you can and can’t afford is very challenging. Finding enough money for food, heating and lighting bills, and things that your children need can lead to real stress and anxiety. Those difficulties might even affect how well you are able to look after your children, and yourself.

Child Protection Scotland’s new It’s Okay To Ask campaign encourages any parent or carer who is struggling to look after their children to ask for help before reaching crisis point.

It can be hard or embarrassing to ask for help when things are very difficult, but there are places where you can get some support. It’s always better to ask for some help than wait until things get really bad.

There are lots of ways and places you can ask for some help. You can:

  • ask a neighbour or friend to help you find support
  • talk to your health visitor, midwife, GP links worker or family nurse
  • visit the Scottish Government’s Cost of Living Crisis website to find out what support is available in your area www.costofliving.campaign.gov.scot
  • your local social work department will have emergency funds www.childprotection.scot/useful-links/council-social-work/
  • go into a local community centre and ask if they can help you
  • look for community groups, including online groups, in your area
  • talk to a teacher at your kids’ school
  • call or visit a citizens advice centre
  • use a local food bank – they don’t just provide food, they can help with budgeting and help you find extra support