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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Kinship foster carer

A kinship foster carer is a family member or friend who offers a place in their home for a looked after child.

A kinship carer can be approved as a foster carer on a temporary basis once some basic checks have been done. This then allows a child to be placed in their care immediately. This can help avoid the need for a child to be cared for by unrelated foster carers first.

A full assessment of the kinship carer must be carried out within 16 weeks of the child moving to their care. This may be extended for a further eight weeks. But this should be only in exceptional situations though.

Anyone who is approved as a kinship foster carer should receive a fostering allowance for the looked after child in their care. This applies whether the carer has temporary approval or fully approved as a foster carer. Kinship foster carers are entitled to be paid the allowance at the same rate as unrelated foster carers.

See the kinship foster care section on our Kinship carer page for more information.

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