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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Directions are instructions given by the court.

In care proceedings, directions will normally cover such things as:

  • Confirming a timetable for the case. Cases should be completed within 26 weeks. Directions will also be used to set out a schedule of court dates.
  • Instructions about who needs to attend hearings.
  • Whether any other adult who is important to the child should be joined as a party to the proceedings.
  • What documents should be given to any person who is not a party to proceedings but who may, for example, be being put forward as a long-term carer for the child.
  • Whether any expert reports are needed from those with specialist knowledge (e.g. a psychologist or doctor)
  • What needs to be done and by when for the case to proceed to a final hearing including: what additional statements, reports and assessments the court needs, and who should prepare them.
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Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

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