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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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When a child aged 10 to 17 is charged with a criminal offence and the court refuses bail, the child will be taken to one of the following locations. Either:

However, the court can only remand a child to youth detention accommodation if the child is at least 12 years old. One of following certain other conditions also needs to apply:

  • The child is charged with a serious offence. This is a violent or sexual offence. Or it is one punishable by a sentence of 14 years or more if committed by an adult.
  • The child has a history of running away and committing offences whilst on remand.
  • Youth detention accommodation is necessary to prevent further offences and protect the public.

Every child who is placed on remand becomes a looked after child.

Where a child becomes looked after only by reason of being placed on remand, then:

  • Remand to local authority accommodation. A care plan and placement plan must be prepared within 5 working days of the child being remanded. The care plan does not need to include a plan for permanence, however.
  • Remand to youth detention accommodation. A detention placement plan must be prepared within 10 working days. Among other things, this should cover: how the child’s health and education needs will be met; arrangements for contact with the child’s family; and social worker support.
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