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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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Code of Conduct for Trustees

Trustees of Family Rights Group agree to adhere to the following principles:

Selflessness

Trustees of Family Rights Group have a general duty to act in the best interests of Family Rights Group as a whole. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their friends or the organisation they come from or represent.

Integrity

Family Rights Group’s trustees:

  • Should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their role;
  • As well as avoiding actual impropriety, should avoid any appearance of improper behaviour;
  • Should avoid accepting gifts and hospitality that might reasonably be thought to influence their judgement.

Objectivity

In carrying out their role, including making appointments (including trustee appointments), awarding contracts, recommending individuals for rewards and benefits or transacting other business, Family Rights Group’s trustees should ensure that decisions are made on merit and according to the needs of the charity.

Accountability

Family Rights Group’s trustees:

  • Have a duty to comply with the law on all occasions in accordance with the trust placed in them and in such a way as to preserve public confidence in Family Rights Group;
  • Are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public, funders and service users. They must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their role.

Openness

Family Rights Group’s trustees:

  • Should ensure that confidential material, including material about individuals, is handled with due care;
  • Should be open about the decisions and action that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider interest clearly demands.

Honesty

Family Rights Group’s trustees:

  • Have a duty to declare any interests relating to their trustees’ role and to take steps to resolve any conflicts that may arise. Where private interests of a trustee conflicts with their trustee duties, they must resolve this conflict in favour of the trustee role;
  • Must make relevant declaration of interest in the different circumstances and roles they play both within and outside Family Rights Group.

Leadership

Family Rights Group’s trustees:

  • Should promote and support the principles of leadership by example.
  • Should respect the role of the Chief Executive.
  • There will be circumstances under which trustees will be working directly with Family Rights Group’s staff. Guidelines for such working relationships must be clear to both staff and trustees and, when these occasions arise, the Chief Executive and Chair should always be made aware.

Conflicts of interest

  • Any trustee who has a financial interest in a matter under discussion, should declare the nature of their interest and withdraw from the room, unless they have a dispensation to speak.
  • If a trustee has any interest in the matter under discussion which creates a real danger of bias, that is, the interest affects them, or a member of their household, more than the generality affected by the decision: they should declare the nature of the interest and withdraw from the room, unless they have a dispensation to speak.
  • If a trustee has any other interest which does not create a real danger of bias, but which might reasonable cause others to think it could influence the decision, they should declare the nature of the interest, but may remain in the room, participate in the discussion, and vote if they wish.
  • If in any doubt about the application of these rule, they should consult with the Chair.
  • Trustees’ interests will be listed in a register.
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