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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Special educational needs and disabilities

A child or young person has a special educational need if they:

  • Find it much harder to learn than most other children or young people of the same age.
  • Have a disability that prevents them from using the facilities provided at school, nursery or college. Or they find it much harder to use those facilities.

Special educational needs and disabilities vary widely, but can affect a child’s:

  • Reading and writing (e.g. because they have dyslexia).
  • Ability to understand things.
  • Ability to concentrate (e.g. if they have attention deficit disorder or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder).
  • Ability to make friends and relate to their peers.

Most children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities have their needs met by their school (or nursery or college). The sort of personal help a child will need varies depending on the nature of their needs.

Examples of the support a school might provide include:

  • A tailored learning programme.
  • Allowing the child to work in a small group.
  • Help with communication difficulties.
  • Extra help from a teaching assistant, including support to take part in class activities.
  • Help with particular needs, such as getting around the school or using the toilet.

Some children with special educational needs or disabilities will need more support than the school can provide. They may need an education, health and care plan.

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

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