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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Sharmila Kar

Sharmila Kar qualified as a doctor in London in the 1990s and is a former NHS GP who joined the Board of Trustees in November 2021. Her eclectic career includes a 16 year stretch as an NHS Clinician where she spent almost half of that time as a GP in a busy suburban practice. Her time as a family doctor was a real privilege; through caring for her patients, it allowed her to experience a great deal of life with the full spectrum of attendant emotions.

Sharmila left the NHS in 2009 to work in the pharmaceutical industry where she has had a successful career supporting the development and commercialisation of specialist new treatments. Much of her work has involved helping to build the clinical and scientific narrative to gain adoption of new medicines by NICE so that they can be made available to patients. She therefore has a great deal of experience in utilising data to develop compelling cost- effectiveness arguments, focusing on potential improvements in patient outcomes while delivering value to the NHS.

Sharmila has recently joined FRG’s Parents’ Panel where she has been able to share her lived experience of navigating health, social care and special education systems for one of her sons who has complex special needs and whose education and mental health suffered as a result.

Through her involvement with FRG, Sharmila is committed to helping support families trying to navigate complex and often confusing health and social care systems and to utilise her lived experience to help improve understanding of SEN and neurodiversity in particular, given its links to poor outcomes for many vulnerable young people.

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