How to contact us for advice

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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). For Textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number. 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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Emma Smale

Emma Smale is currently an Associate for Research In Practice and Senior Associate for the Innovation Unit. Emma’s work is focused on innovation and learning, and she has expertise in children’s social care, safeguarding and children in care. She was Head of Policy and Research for Action for Children where she led on child neglect, and was a national commentator on children in care and care leavers’ policy in her role as Co-Chair for the Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers. She was an expert witness for the Jersey Care Inquiry. Emma regularly advises government and has written extensively across a range of areas, including on transitional safeguarding and the effectiveness of public inquiries into the protection of children. Emma was recently Head of Research and Development at SCIE where she was responsible for research and practice improvement in children’s social care.

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