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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Eligibility criteria

This is a local list of categories and conditions used to help allocate support within children’s services. It helps children’s services to decide which families should receive extra support.

The criteria help to set priorities. Local authorities have limited budgets. They cannot provide extra support for everyone. They have to draw up rules for deciding which families are highest priority.

By law, children’s services have to provide a range of support services for children in need and their families. However, they will only give extra support to those children whose needs meet the local criteria. The criteria will vary from one local authority to another. The variations depend on the resources available to that local authority.

Eligibility criteria should be published. Children’s services will most likely publish the criteria on their website.

It is not only children’s services who apply eligibility criteria. Local authority adult services also use eligibility criteria to decide which adults with disabilities they can help, for example.

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

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