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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The process that children’s services will go through to see if a child or a family needs help and support.

An example is a child in need assessment. When considering whether a child or their family may need extra support, children’s services will start with an assessment. This will look at the child’s needs and the family situation. It will assess whether the parents need help to meet the child’s needs.

Another example is child protection enquiries. Where a concern is raised about a child’s care, an assessment will be used to explore the family situation. This will help children’s services in deciding whether the child is at risk.

Assessments are used by children’s services to see whether a person is suitable, for example, to be approved as a prospective adopter.

For more information about the different types of assessment relating to what help or support a child or family may need, see:

Early help assessment
Child in need assessment
Education, health and care needs assessment
Local protocol for assessment
Parent carer’s needs assessment
Young carer’s assessment

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