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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Emergency foster care

When children’s services need to place a child with approved foster carers at short notice.

This might be because a parent has been taken into hospital and there is no one else available to care for them. It may be because a child protection concern has arisen which means the child cannot safely stay at home.

Regulations allow a child to be placed with foster carers for up to six days in an emergency. This is even if the foster carer’s terms of approval are not consistent with the needs of the child. For example the foster carer may not have yet been approved for a child of a particular age.

An emergency foster placement should only be made if absolutely necessary. If there is no known family member who is able to take the child into their care at short notice, the child may need to be placed in emergency foster care. Some independent fostering agencies specialise in providing foster carers in an emergency.

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

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