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Our advice service

We provide advice to parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and kinship carers who are involved with children’s services in England or need their help. We can help you understand processes and options when social workers or courts are making decisions about your child’s welfare.

Our advice service is free, independent and confidential.

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By phone or email

To speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential advice line 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm, excluding Bank Holidays). Or you can ask us a question via email using our advice enquiry form.

Discuss on our forums

Our online advice forums are an anonymous space where parents and kinship carers (also known as family and friends carers) can get legal and practical advice, build a support network and learn from other people’s experiences.

Advice on our website

Our get help and advice section describes the processes that you and your family are likely to go through, so that you know what to expect. Our webchat service can help you find the information and advice on our website which will help you understand the law and your rights.

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2024 General Election Hub

This General Election, lets put child welfare in the rooms where it matters. Family Rights Group

The 2024 General Election is on 4th July.

The child welfare system is in crisis, with a record number of children in the care system, many far away from family and friends.

Kinship care is an option that works for children, families and the state. Yet too often kinship families struggle to access the practical, emotional and financial support they need.

Meanwhile some private children’s homes providers are making huge profits and local authority budgets are under severe strain.

This general election, let’s put child welfare in the rooms where it matters.

Children, young people, parents and kinship carers must be heard.

We are calling on the next government to urgently reform the child welfare system:

  • To ensure families get the help they need early, so children can live safely and thrive in their family.
  • To have an ambitious plan for investing in kinship care for children who cannot remain at home.
  • To support children and young people in care and care leavers to have positive, loving relationships they can turn to throughout their life.

Over the six week campaign, parliamentary candidates in every part of the country will be campaigning for your vote.

It’s your opportunity to speak to the person who will represent your area in Parliament. To make sure they sit up and listen.

Take Action

Send an email to your local parliamentary candidates

Use our easy tool to email your local general election candidates. It only takes 3 minutes.

Put in your postcode below to get started.

If you are a relative or a friend raising a child in kinship care, use this search box:

For everyone else, use this search box:

Make sure you are registered to vote, and that your details are up to date

You can register to vote or check that your details are up to date online or request a paper application from your local authority. The deadline to register is 18th June.

Have you got ID? There are new rules in place which mean you now need photographic ID to vote in person in elections. Find out more about which forms of ID you can use.

Do you need a postal vote? If you think you might find it difficult to vote in person on 4th July, you can also consider applying for a postal vote. A ballot pack will be posted to you a couple of weeks before polling day, which you can then fill in and post back. You can register online or request a paper form.

Speak to your local parliamentary candidates in person

There may also be opportunities to talk to your local parliamentary candidates in person.

They will be knocking on doors, phoning local voters, holding street stalls, attending local events, or taking part in local election hustings.

If you are involved with a local group, such as a kinship care support group, you could also invite your local candidates to a meeting.

Sign up to receive our campaign updates

What will Family Rights Group be doing?

Working alongside parents and kinship carers on our family panels, we have been speaking to all the main political parties, engaging with MPs and prospective candidates. We will continue to do so throughout the election campaign, pushing our key messages about the change children and families need to see.

Family Rights Group provides the secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care. A cross party group of MPs and Peers who work together to champion kinship care. We are asking prospective MPs to commit to joining the APPG, if they are elected.

We have also been working to influence the manifestos which set out the key priorities of each party if they are elected to form the next government. Those manifestos will be published over the course of the campaign and we look forward to seeing whether our work has paid off.

What do the party manifestos say on child welfare and kinship care?

Liberal Democrats

First up was the Liberal Democrats, published on Monday 10th June:

  • a statutory definition of kinship care
  • extending the financial allowances pilot for kinship carers
  • extending Pupil Premium Plus to children in kinship care
  • pay and leave day-one employment rights for kinship carers, and a longer term commitment to extend this entitlement
  • tackle the backlogs in the family courts that leave children and families waiting nearly a year for cases to be resolved, by making the legal aid system simpler, fairer and more generous
  • make care experience a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010
  • appoint a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People.


Next was the Conservative manifesto published on Tuesday 11th June. On children’s social care it commits to:

  • prioritising keeping families together where that’s best for the child through the Kinship Care Strategy
  • delivering a Family Hub in every local authority in England
  • support those leaving care with housing, education and employment, in addition to expanding befriending and mentoring programmes for care leavers.

Green Party

The Green Party published its manifesto on Wednesday 12th June:

  • proposing an additional £3 billion to address the crisis in children’s social care
  • restoring legal aid budgets.

Labour Party

On Thursday 13rd June the Labour Party published its manifesto. It committed to:

  • develop an ambitious strategy to reduce child poverty
  • support children in care, including through kinship care, foster care and adoption
  • strengthen regulation of the children’s social care sector
  • create a new Young Futures programme including hubs with youth and mental health support workers
  • review the parental leave system so it best supports working families – an opportunity to improve support for kinship carers too, who are often forced out of the labour market when they step in to the parenting role
  • ensuring children of those who are imprisoned are identified and offered support to break the cycle
  • new legal safeguards around strip-searching children and young people.

Social media resources

Here you will find graphics and suggested messages which you can post on social media.

This General Election, lets put child welfare in the rooms where it matters. Family Rights Group

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