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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Relative

‘Relative’ has a specific meaning in family law. The term is defined in the Children Act 1989.

A relative is defined as someone who is not the child’s parent but is a grandparent, stepparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother. This includes half-brothers and sisters who share only one parent. It also includes people who are related to a child by marriage or civil partnership. For example, a parent’s husband or wife or stepbrothers and stepsisters.

The definition is important because it has implications in terms of who can apply for certain orders including a special guardianship order or child arrangements order.

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Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

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