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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Complaints definition

Every local authority has to publish a complaints procedure. This should set out how people can make a complaint about children’s services. This will include the actions and decisions of social workers.

The duty to publish a complaints procedure is in the Children Act 1989. Each local authority have details of the complaints procedure on their website. Children’s services, schools, NHS and other public services will have their own procedures.

The Children Act 1989 specifies who can make a complaint to children’s services. This includes:

If you are outside these categories, you can still make a complaint. The law also allows children’s services to consider complaints from anyone who has a ‘strong connection to the child’. This is referred to as having a ‘sufficient interest’ in the child’s welfare.

Complaints can be made in relation to difficulties such as:

For more information about how to make a complaint and what will happen see:

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Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

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