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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Placement plan

This is a plan drawn up by children’s services as part of the child’s care plan. It sets out the detailed arrangements for a looked after child’s placement. This includes how the placement will contribute to meeting the child’s needs. It will also set out how day-to-day parenting decisions will be made.

Ideally, the placement plan should be drawn up before the placement begins. If this is not possible, then it must be drawn up within five working days.

The placement plan will set out:

  • How the placement will contribute to meeting the child’s needs identified in the care plan. These needs include health, education, social, behavioural and developmental needs.
  • The financial arrangements for the child’s upbringing while in the placement.
  • How the child will keep in touch with their parents, brothers and sisters, and other family members.
  • What decisions the carer can make about the child’s care. For example, in relation to school trips, overnight stays, medical and dental treatment
  • How the carer will maintain any important links relating to the child’s religion or culture.

An effective plan should ensure that the carer receives essential information about the child, including how any health, social, emotional or behavioural needs may affect the child day to day and appropriate strategies for responding. The plan should also ensure the carer has a clear understanding of the child’s likes, dislikes and routines.

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