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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Pre-birth assessment

When an assessment is carried out in relation to an unborn baby, it is called a pre-birth assessment. It is carried out in much the same way as other social work assessments but is completed before the birth. It will include the social worker speaking with the mother’s midwife and other relevant health practitioners.

The assessment will aim to find out:

  • Whether the family need, or will need, extra support
  • Whether the baby will be safe when they are born.

After a pre-birth assessment

There can be different outcomes to a pre-birth assessment. The outcome will depend on whether the unborn baby is assessed as requiring additional help as a child in need. Or if there are concerns that the baby will be likely to suffer significant harm once they are born. Sometimes the assessment will decide that no additional help is needed by children’s services.

See our Parents to be page for more information about pre-birth assessments.

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