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 guardianship allowance

This refers to means-tested financial help for special guardians. Children’s services may pay this allowance to support a special guardian. They do not have to pay any allowance to a special guardian, but can do to support the child’s placement.

Some special guardians may have been foster carers for the child before becoming a special guardian. If they received a fostering allowance for the child, they may get a higher rate of special guardianship allowance. This would only apply for the first two years.

Special guardianship allowance is exempt from the ‘benefits cap’ introduced in November 2016. If someone is in receipt of special guardianship allowance, it does not count towards their total benefits for the purposes of the cap.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Kinship carers

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

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