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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Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The role of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is to investigate complaints made against local authorities. This includes complaints made regarding children’s services. The Ombudsman is appointed by Parliament. It is independent of local authorities.

All stages of the local authority’s own complaints’ procedure must be exhausted before a complaint can be made to the Ombudsman (unless you have not received a response in a reasonable time).

The Ombudsman should look into the complaint if:

  • The problem has not been put right following a complaint to children’s services; and
  • It appears that there has been an injustice.

For more information, see the explanation of the Ombudsman’s complaints procedure on the Ombudsman’s website:

How to complain’.

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