Spears's manager says the children are fine. Plus: Who's Britney's support system?

By People Staff
Updated February 21, 2007 11:00 AM

While Britney Spears is in rehab, her two sons are in good hands. “The kids are being well taken care of,” Spears’s manager, Larry Rudolph, says of Sean Preston, 17 months, and Jayden James, 5 months, in PEOPLE’s new cover story.

Last month Spears, 25, and estranged husband Kevin Federline, 28, agreed upon a temporary custody arrangement for the boys – Spears has primary custody and can designate someone to look after them in her absence; Federline gets visitation. So even with Spears in a treatment facility, the arrangement would stay “status quo,” says Manhattan divorce attorney Nancy Chemtob.

Federline, meanwhile, has no plans to use the current situation against his soon-to-be ex, says a pal: “It’s not about getting the kids away from Britney. He’s just worried about making sure he can see them.”

Indeed, a source says that days before Spears shaved her head at Esther’s Haircutting Studio in Tarzana, Calif., Federline had urged her to seek treatment.

“Kevin wanted her to get help so she could be a good mother for their kids and not end up dead,” says his friend. “He just couldn’t take it anymore. He was desperate for her to get help.”

And four days after her meltdown at Esther’s, Spears did, in fact, check into rehab. “Britney has a terrific support system and a lot of people who love her,” friend Connie Brabham tells PEOPLE. “We’re all hoping this will work out for everyone.”

Her support system includes:

As a youngster, Spears had “a terrific relationship” with her mom, says former agent Nancy Carson. But a relative says: “Britney and Lynne have had some problems lately and they weren’t speaking for a while.” Now, though, they’re talking again.

Spears’s little sister cried when she heard about the singer’s meltdown over the weekend, says a friend. The two are tight; Spears calls Jamie Lynn, 15, frequently.

Spears’s dad has had his own battles with alcohol. A family member in Louisiana says Spears doesn’t always stop by his home to say hello when she’s in town, but Sunday night before she entered rehab, the two dined together and had “a heavy conversation.”

The two spoke by phone just before Valentine’s Day, and he canceled plans to go to Las Vegas last weekend “to physically be in L.A. if Britney or the kids needed him,” says a friend.

Her longtime manager parted ways with her after she wed Federline, then returned and orchestrated her well-received behavior when she filed for divorce. He helped with the intervention that led to rehab.

For the complete story, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on sale Friday.