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). 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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Family court

The family court is the court that deals with most family law cases (some more complex or specialist cases are allocated or reserved to the Family Division of the High Court). The family court can make decisions in a wide range of private law (between individuals) and public law matters (where a local authority is involved in bringing the case). Children law cases which come before the family court are generally about where children should live and who with, who they should see and what support they and their family should get.

Children’s services, family members and children themselves can all ask the family court to make decisions.

Cases in the family court are heard by:

  • A judge
  • Or a magistrate (magistrates are not judges but have been trained to make decisions and are supported by a trained legal adviser).
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