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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Children’s home

A children’s home is a type of residential care home where a number of looked after children and young people live together in one place, cared for by a staff team.

Some children’s homes specialise in caring for children with particular needs, such as children and young people with physical and learning disabilities, behavioural problems, mental health difficulties, or a drug or alcohol addiction.

Each child should have a ‘key worker’ from among the staff. The key worker must make sure the requirements of the child’s placement plan are implemented as part of the child’s day-to-day care.

Every children’s home must publish:

  • A statement of purpose, which sets out the overall aims of the home and its objectives for the children who live there.
  • A children’s guide, which explains in age-appropriate language:
    • what the child can expect and what support they are entitled to
    • how the child can get the support of an advocate
    • how the child can make a complaint.

All children’s homes must register with Ofsted.

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