Top Tips and Templates
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This section of our website has practical tips and tools for parents and other family members involved with children’s services or the Family Court. The resources include guides to working with different practitioners and other top tips. It also includes template letters to help with writing to children’s services about different issues. You can adapt these letters to your specific circumstances.
Our four ‘Working with..’ guides
These aim to support families when they need to work with a solicitor, social worker, parent or child advocate in the interests of the child.
Our guides for families and practitioners
- Families may also find the top tips guides and resources for practitioners of interest
- The Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide including advice and template letters for family members or friends who wish to be assessed as a kinship carer for a child or are going through a kinship care assessment
- Frequently asked questions regarding Ukrainian children and young people living in kinship arrangements in England
Template letters for families
Our template letters aim to help parents, kinship carers and others to write to children’s services about issues which are concerning to them. The template letters can be adapted to your personal circumstances. They have blank spaces so family members can fill in:
- Their own details
- The details of the child (or children) and
- The details of the children’s services department involved before sending the letter.
Parents and other family members may want to write to children’s services about a range of things. Our template letters do not cover every single situation or matter families may want to write about. But they do deal with some of the most common ones. Note that:
- Individual circumstances vary a lot. Some situations can be very complex. Our letters are a guide only. They are not a substitute for legal advice about a specific case
- Sometimes families will wish for, and need, their letters to be treated as a formal complaint and to make this clear in their letter. But there may be some situations where families are writing as a first step. Or to raise an initial concern and are not yet making a formal complaint yet. What is best will they depend on the precise situation
- The timescales included in the letters for children’s services to respond are suggestions only. Families may want to think about what is reasonable in their situation. And depending upon the urgency of the matter
- In some cases, the suggested timescale for a response reflects the period children’s services should initially respond to a complaint rather than fully address the complaint.
For more information about making complaints to children’s services see our Complaints page. If looking for advice about complaining about the child protection process, you may want to start with the Complaining about a child protection process section on our Child protection page may be useful to look at too.