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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Solicitor

A solicitor is a qualified legal professional who practises law by advising and representing clients. All solicitors must be registered to practise with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

A solicitor will give support and advice, to explain a client’s options. They will help the client deal with letters and papers from children’s services or the court. They will represent their clients in court. In more complex cases, the solicitor may instruct a barrister to appear in court on behalf of the clients. A barrister is a different type of lawyer who specialises in court work.

If parents are involved in care proceedings, their solicitors’ fees are paid for by legal aid. This means parents get legal advice and representation free of charge.

Most solicitors specialise in particular areas of the law. If children’s services go to court to seek a court order for a child, it is a good idea for a parent to choose a specialist children law solicitor. It is helpful if they have the Law Society’s children’s law accreditation, or work for a firm with supervising solicitors that have this accreditation. This is a quality mark from the Law Society. It means the solicitor has special expertise in children law, in particular when children’s services become involved with a family.

The Law Society’s database has a list of solicitors who specialist in children law.

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

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