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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Letter of issue

This is a letter that children’s services must by law send to the parents (or anyone else who has parental responsibility) if they apply to the court for a care or supervision order. This application may be asking the court to remove the child from their parents’ care. It must therefore contain specific information.

The letter of issue must:

  • Inform the parents that care proceedings are being started and what this means. They must be given the date, time and location of the first hearing.
  • Advise the parents to get help from a solicitor specialising in children law immediately. It should make clear that parents will not have to pay for their legal advice. Any parent whose children are subject to care proceedings will have their solicitor’s fees paid by legal aid.
  • The letter should enclose the application made to court and all documents referred to within the application.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Care (and related) proceedings

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