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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Children and Young Persons Act 2008

The Act introduced reforms to the care system. These aim to improve outcomes for looked after children and care leavers.

The Act provides priorities for deciding where and with whom a looked after child should live. It makes explicit that placement with a parent is the number one preference. Placements with kinship carers should continue to take priority over unrelated placements. The Act also sets out that, as far as is practicable, placements should be near a child’s home and should not disrupt their education.

In addition, the Act:

  • Strengthens and enhances the role of independent reviewing officers.
  • Places a duty on schools to appoint a member of staff to promote the achievement of looked after children. This person is the ‘designated teacher‘.
  • Extends local authorities’ duties towards care leavers. This includes those over 21 who returned to education or training.
  • Strengthens local authority duties relating to visiting looked after children. Children’s services are required to arrange for a child to have an independent visitor where it is considered in the child’s best interests.

For more information see:

Children and Young Persons Act 2008

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