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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How our Advice and Advocacy Service makes a Difference

In conjunction with New Philanthropy Capital, we developed a model to conduct impact evaluations of our Advice and Advocacy service. This model is important to us because it evidences that:

  1. Our advice and advocacy makes a difference to the families who contact us
  2. We are delivering advice, advocacy and information to the highest possible standard
  3. We are cost effective.

Our 2022 evaluation of our telephone advice line found that:

1. Immediately after calling our advice line:

  • 96% felt that they had a better understanding of what they had to do
  • 85% felt more confident to have their say with the social worker/children’s services
  • 84% felt that they understood the law better
  • 90% felt that they understood their rights and responsibilities better
  • 75% felt more able to understand the concerns of the social worker
  • 83% felt that they had an improved understanding of children’s services procedures.

2. Four to six months after calling our advice line:

  • 80% had a better understanding of what they had to do
  • 68% felt more confident to have their say with the social worker/children’s services
  • 59% felt they had a better understanding of children’s services procedures
  • 42% felt better able to work with the social worker/children’s services
  • 45% agreed that the support they received from us made a positive difference to the local authority plan and/or services for their child/children.

3. Our cost effectiveness:

New Philanthropy Capital also constructed an economic model to estimate the public savings of the advice line from care costs avoided and local authority costs saved by averting the need for long term or more intensive statutory involvement. The findings suggest that the service saves an average of £15.58 for every £1 invested.

This mean figure estimates that the Advice and Advocacy Service has saved almost £15 million in public spending across the two years, 2020-22.

The model’s local authority and care related costs were estimated in 2015. These costs have risen since 2015 and therefore the model findings underestimate the public money saved by the service.

Find out more about the evaluation:

Summary: Telephone Advice Line Impact Report, April 2020 - March 2022

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Full Report: Telephone Advice Line Evaluation and Impact Report, April 2020 – March 2022

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Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

Your donation will help more families access expert legal advice and support from Family Rights Group.

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