Specialist Family Practitioner Team

The Specialist Family Practitioner Team are part of the NHS Children’s Community Services, covering the county of Lincolnshire. We are a multidisciplinary professionally qualified team.

Who are we

The Specialist Family Practitioners (SFP) are part of the Oncology, Palliative and Bereavement Team, covering the county of Lincolnshire. We are a multidisciplinary qualified team, adhering to professional standards and codes of ethics which includes a specialist play/youth worker.

What we do

We help children, young people and their families to understand their thoughts and feelings about how they are being affected by illness and bereavement.

We do this by offering emotional support, using counselling techniques and the use of therapeutic play activities encouraging children and young people to express themselves. The service enables families to talk to somebody completely impartial who is not directly involved in their care.


Everyone working within the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential. We usually ask before sharing any information about you, however, in certain circumstances we can share it without permission, for example, if we are concerned about the safety of family members.


Therapeutic, psycho-social and emotional support for families who live in Lincolnshire who experience:

  • Parents who have experienced the death of a child or a young person (under 19 years of age), known to service, or with other siblings.
  • Children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent or guardian or sibling.
  • Families with a child or young person who has an oncology diagnosis.
  • Children and young people living with a parent/guardian or sibling with an anticipated life expectancy of less than one year.
  • Short-term specific interventions for children, young people and their families who have a child with a life limiting diagnosis.

Please note the service is unable to offer

An individual counselling service, support for families affected by separation or divorce, support for families affected by stillbirth or miscarriage, support for families affected by the death of an extended family member, i.e. aunt, uncle, grandparent (unless they were the main carer for the child/young person), support for non-palliative oncology adults or adults with long term health conditions.

How we work

The team offer emotional, psycho-social interventions for families to help them to adapt to any changes in their life.

We use an individual family focused approach to support all the family using therapeutic play, which can include games, role-play, craft activities and storytelling with children and young people. Our work with adults involves enabling communication within the family through discussion and listening.

We work closely with all professionals including the Community Children’s Nurses, the Children’s Palliative Care Team, the Children’s MacMillan Nurse and other children’s agencies and organisations.

Visits are arranged in the family home, schools or other convenient locations, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

Other services

Other services are available to ULHT Children’s Community staff, including; supervision, training and debriefs.

The Specialist Family Practitioners also offer telephone support, information and signposting for other professionals needing advice on child bereavement, plus teaching and education around this subject.

Referral process

We accept referrals from any professionals who know of families who meet our service criteria. Please contact the service prior to referral.