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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). 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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Exclusion requirement

When making an interim care order or an emergency protection order, the court has the power (under certain circumstances) to include an exclusion requirement to ensure the child’s safety. For example, the court can require someone it believes to be a danger to the child to be removed (i.e. excluded) from the child’s home.

When a court uses this power, social workers and solicitors may refer to the exclusion requirement as an ‘exclusion order’.

An exclusion requirement can do one of three things. It can:

  • Require the named person to leave the child’s home (if they have been living there)
  • Exclude the named person from entering the child’s home
  • Exclude the named person from entering a defined area around the child’s home.

The court can only use this power if:

  • It believes that excluding the named person means the child will no longer suffer or be likely to suffer significant harm, AND
  • Another person in the child’s home is able and willing to care for the child safely, and that person agrees with the exclusion requirement.

A power of arrest may be attached to the exclusion requirement. This means that if the person named in the exclusion requirement does not comply with the court’s instructions to stay away from the child’s home, they can be arrested.

The power to make an exclusion requirement is set out in Section 38A of the Children Act 1989 (for an interim care order) and in 44A (for an emergency protection order).

For more information see our advice pages on:

Care (and related) proceedings

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