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). 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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Child in need assessment

This is an assessment carried out by children’s services to see whether a child is a child in need of extra help (as defined by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989).

If the social worker decides the child is a child in need, they will draw up a child in need plan. This will set out what extra help will be given to the child and their family by children’s services and other local agencies (e.g. the school and local health services).

The plan should also specify:

  • What outcomes are expected (i.e. what changes are expected in the child’s life as a result of the help that will be given)
  • What is expected of the parents
  • When and how the child in need plan will be reviewed.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Child in need

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