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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Pathway plan

All care leavers should receive a personal plan, to help them in their transition to adulthood. This is called a pathway plan. The plan should set out what children’s services will do to help that young person move towards independent living. It will include information as to what other agencies will do too.

Care leavers are entitled to receive ongoing support and advice up to age 25. This support should be set out in their pathway plan and they should also have a personal adviser to help them until age 25.

Care leavers who should receive a pathway plan include all ‘eligible’ children. These are young people aged 16 or 17 who are still looked after. It also includes all ‘relevant’ and ‘former relevant’ young people. These are those who have left care. Their plans must be based on a thorough and up-to-date assessment of their needs.

A pathway plan should be prepared before a young person ceases to be looked after. It should be a ‘live’ document that is reviewed regularly.

It should cover:

  • Health and development.
  • Education, training and employment, including career planning.
  • Emotional and behavioural development. This should include building self-esteem, confidence and resilience, and learning to manage stress.
  • Social and family relationships. This should include how to maintain contact with friends, family and other significant adults. It may look at helping with any negative aspects to those relationships.
  • Housing.
  • Managing money and personal finances.
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Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

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