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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Designated teacher

Every school must appoint one of its senior teaching staff as the designated teacher. Their role is to promote the education and welfare of all looked after children within the school. They will have specialist training to help them understand and respond to the needs of looked after children.

The designated teacher’s role includes:

  • Promoting high expectations for the learning and achievement of each looked after child at the school.
  • Acting as the school’s liaison and contact for children’s services. They will work closely with foster carers and health services involved in a looked after child’s life.
  • Helping other school staff understand the needs of each looked after child. They will provide advice to staff on personal learning strategies.
  • Taking the lead on the development of each looked after child’s personal education plan.
    Making sure the school does all it can to achieve educational stability for every looked after child.
  • Helping looked after children make a smooth and successful transition if they move to a new school or college.
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