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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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Useful Links – Scotland

Below we have listed other organisations that may be helpful to families, practitioners and policy makers in Scotland. We have worked to ensure the information provided is accurate at the time of publication, but organisations may adjust opening hours or contact details.

Please note that Family Rights Group does not necessarily endorse the organisations listed and we are not responsible for the content of any external websites.

Adoption and Fostering

PAC-UK

Offers counselling, advice and information to anyone affected by adoption.

National PAC-UK Advice Line: 0300 1800 090
Website: https://www.pac-uk.org

TACT

TACT is the UK’s largest charity and voluntary agency providing fostering and adoption services. They campaign on behalf of children and young people in care, carers, their families and adoptive families.

Telephone: 0330 123 2250
Website: https://www.tactcare.org.uk

The Fostering Network

UK-wide membership charity for those with a personal or professional interest in fostering. It’s services include information and advice, practical support, publications and training. It also works for high standards in foster care. It provides a helpline for members (details on the website).

Fosterline Scotland: 0141 204 1400
Website: https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/

Advocacy for young children and families

Just For Kids Law

Offers support to children and young people with using direct casework to help them to overcome their problems, and use evidence from their practice to campaign for wider reform.

Telephone: 0203 174 2279
Email:enquiries@justforkidslaw.org 
Website: https://justforkidslaw.org

Bereavement

Child Bereavement UK

Helps children and young people, parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.

Helpline: 0800 0288 840
Website: https://www.childbereavementuk.org

Child abuse, bullying and exploitation

Childline is run by the NSPCC

The free helpline for children and young people in the UK who are in distress and danger or who have other problems.

Free Helpline: 0800 1111
Website: https://www.childline.org.uk

Ivision Trust

Ivison Trust (formerly Pace) works to keep children safe from exploitation by supporting their parents, disrupting the offenders and working in partnership with police and family services.

Email: Contact form
Website: https://ivisontrust.org.uk/for-parents/

Kidscape

Dedicated to preventing bullying and child abuse. Provides advice and information, resources and training for professionals.

Parents advice line: 07496 682785
Email: parentsupport@kidscape.org.uk
Website: https://www.kidscape.org.uk

NSPCC

Specialises in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children. The NSPCC Helpline provides advice and support to adults who are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child. Provides services in several languages, and also for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Free Helpline: 0808 800 5000
Email: help@nspcc.org.uk
Website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk

Stop it now

The Stop It Now! helpline is an anonymous and confidential service available to anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse, including: Adults worried about the behaviour of other adults or children and young people: Those worried about their own sexual thoughts or behaviour towards children, including those with concerns about their online behaviour: Friends and relatives of people arrested for sexual offending, including internet offending: Any other adult with a concern about child sexual abuse – including survivors and professionals.

Helpline:  0808 100 090
Website: https://www.stopitnow.org.uk

We Stand (MOSAC)

We Stand provides supportive services in a safe and non-judgemental environment for non-abusing parents and carers whose children have been sexually abused.

Free Helpline: 0800 980 1958
Email: support@westand.org.uk
Website: https://westand.org.uk/

Disability (including learning disability)

Carers UK

UK-wide charity providing advice, information and support to parents of all disabled children.

Free Helpline: 0808 808 3555
Email: advice@carersuk.org
Website: https://www.carersuk.org

Contact a Family

UK-wide charity providing advice, information and support to parents of all disabled children.

Free Helpline: 0808 808 3555
Email: helpline@contact.org.uk
Website: https://contact.org.uk/

Contact Scotland

Advice and support for families with disabled children. They have a helpline, online enquiry form and useful online information and they can sign post families to local support groups.

Free Helpline: 0808 808 3555
Email: Contact form

Disability Law Service

The Disability Law Service provides legal advice and access to justice for disabled people. They can provide free advice via information, factsheets, training courses and telephone and written advice on the following matters: Community Care Law, Employment and discrimination at work, Housing and Welfare benefits.

Telephone: 020 7791 9800
Email: advice@dls.org.uk
Website: https://dls.org.uk

Disability, pregnancy and parenthood international (DPPI)

Organisation controlled by disabled parents that promotes better awareness and support for disabled people during pregnancy and as parents. Information and online communities are on the website. Also for families, professionals and interested others.

Email: info@dppi.org.uk

Equality & Human Rights Commission

Government body that works to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society. Gives information and guidance on discrimination and human rights.

Website: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com

Family & Trust

The Family Fund gives grants to low-income families in the UK to meet the additional needs of caring for a severely disabled child.

Helpline: 01904 550055
Website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk

Mencap

Mencap is a UK learning disability charity working with people with learning disabilities and their families and carers.

Telephone: 020 7454 0454
Email: information@mencap.org.uk
Website: https://www.www.mencap.org.uk

National Autistic Society

Charity to champion the rights and interests of all people with autism and to ensure that they and their families receive quality services appropriate to their needs.

Telephone: 020 7833 2299
Email: nas@nas.org.uk
Website: https://www.autism.org.uk

Newbold Hope

Parent-led organisation working with families and professionals
in reducing anxiety-led difficult and dangerous behaviour in children with additional needs or disability.
It was formerly known as The SEND VCB Project.

Website: https://www.newboldhope.com/contact

Working Together with Parents Network (WTPN)

This network supports professionals working with parents with learning difficulties and learning disabilities and their children. It provides a UK-wide network for professionals sharing positive practice including four regional groups in England and country-wide networks in Scotland and Wales.

Website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/wtpn/resources/

Domestic Abuse

Counselling Directory

Helpful information section on domestic abuse on website. The directory is a resource hub which enables individuals struggling with their emotional well-being to find a qualified and insured counsellor. Also share free advice and guidance from counsellors through their blog. List counselling organisations and charities who offer free or low concession counselling.

Website: https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/domestic-violence.html#counsellingfordomesticabuse

Imkaan

Is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls. As a second-tier, human rights organisation, with national membership, Imkaan represents the expertise and perspectives of frontline specialist women’s services that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

Website: https://www.imkaan.org.uk

Refuge

Supports women and children through a range of services, including refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services. Refuge advocates for improvements to domestic violence policy and practice, and the implementation of legislation to meet the needs of abused women and children. It helps prevent domestic violence through campaigning, education, training and research.

Freephone 24 hour helpline: 0808 200 0247
Website: https://www.refuge.org.uk

Respect (Man)

They also run a Men’s Advice Line which provides advice and support to men experiencing domestic abuse and those supporting them.

Helpline: 0808 801 0327
Website:
https://mensadviceline.org.uk

Respect (Woman)

Works with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people. Respect runs a helpline for men and women who are harming their partners.

Helpline: 0808 802 4040
Email: info@respectphoneline.org.uk
Website: https://respectphoneline.org.uk

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

Support for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or forced marriage, as well as their family members, friends, colleagues and professionals who support them.

Helpline: 0800 027 1234
Text/WhatsApp: 07401288595
Email: helpline@sdafmh.org.uk
Website: https://www.sdafmh.org.uk/en/

Scottish Women’s Aid

Lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse.

Helpline: 0800 027 1234
Email: helpline@sdafmh.org.uk
Website: https://womensaid.scot

Shakti Women’s Aid

Help for black minority ethnic (BME) women, children and young people who are experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse.

Telephone: 0131 475 2399
Email: info@shaktiedinburgh.co.uk
Website: https://shaktiedinburgh.co.uk/

Latin American Women’s Rights Service

Advocates for women’s rights and migrant’s rights. It offers advice, advocacy, information and counselling services in a personalised, confidential and impartial manner. The service includes housing, money and debt management as well domestic violence support. All services are free and in Spanish and Portuguese.

Freephone: 0808 145 4909
Email: info@lawrs.org.uk
Website: https://www.lawrs.org.uk

Drugs and Alcohol misuse

Adfam

Helps families and carers living with drug or alcohol problems across the UK.

Website: https://adfam.org.uk

FRANK

FRANK is a drug and alcohol advice service. It provides information on its website about the impact of misuse of drugs and alcohol. This includes an A-Z of terms. Parents and carers in England can use the FRANK website to find details of local and national services that provide counselling and treatment for substance misuse.

Telephone: 0300 123 6600
Website:
https://www.talktofrank.com

Scottish Families affected by Alcohol & Drugs

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs is a national charity which supports anyone affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use in Scotland. They have a helpline, email enquiry service and a webchat facility.

Helpline:0808 010 1011
Email: helpline@sfad.org.uk
Website:
https://www.sfad.org.uk/

Education including special educational needs

Buttle UK

Provides emergency funding to people in need and grant funding to enable children to attend state boarding schools when they are very vulnerable. See their website for eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Website: https://www.buttleuk.org

Civil Legal Advice Education Law Line

Free legal advice on family, child and education law across England. It is run by the Coram Children’s Legal Centre and telephone advice is only available to people eligible for legal aid.

Website: https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com

ENQUIRE

Scottish Government funded service for the parents of children with additional support needs who may require support in relation to a dispute with an educational authority and have the right to make a reference to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland (ASNTS) The service is also available to 16/17year olds with additional support needs.

Helpline: 0345 123 2303
Website:
https://enquire.org.uk/

Let’s Talk ASN Scotland (Barnados)

Scottish Government funded service for the parents of children with additional support needs who may require support in relation to a dispute with an educational authority and have the right to make a reference to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal for Scotland (ASNTS) The service is also available to 16/17year olds with additional support needs.

Telephone: 0131 446 7000 or 0141 445 1955
Email:
letstalkasn@edlaw.org.uk

Families of offenders

Children Heard+Seen

Charity that supports children and families impacted by parental imprisonment. They offer Face to Face support to children and young people in the Thames Valley area and Zoom support in the rest of the country. Especially relevant for children and partners of adults convicted of sexual offences against children and they also offer support to carers of children bereaved through domestic homicide.

Telephone: 07557 339258
Email: info@childrenheardandseen.co.uk
Website: https://childrenheardandseen.co.uk/what-we-offer/

Families outside

Families Outside is a charity that works solely on behalf of families in Scotland affected by imprisonment. They have a helpline, email enquiry service and option to text them.

Telephone: 0800 254 0088 (helpline)
or text FAMOUT to 60777
Email: support@familiesoutside.org.uk
Website:
https://www.familiesoutside.org.uk/families/

Talking Forward

Peer support for anyone whose adult family member has been investigated for an online sexual offence. They offer an initial call from one of their facilitators before signposting to available zoom or face to face peer groups.

Email:info@talkingforward.co.uk
Website:
https://www.talkingforward.co.uk

Harmful sexual behaviour (Children & YP)

Shore

Service for children/Young people under 18, to get help and support in relation to harmful sexual behaviours amongst young people (including online safety). They offer web chat and web enquiry.

Website: https://shorespace.org.uk/

Holidays and Breaks

Family Holiday Charity

Helps disadvantaged parents and children with holidays and other recreational provision.

Telephone: 0203 117 0650
Email: hello@familyholidaycharity.org.uk
Website: https://familyholidaycharity.org.uk/

Housing

Shelter

Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing.

Helpline: 0808 800 4444
Website: https://scotland.shelter.org.uk

Shelter Scotland

Housing and homelessness Advice for people in Scotland. They offer a telephone helpline and a webchat facility.

Helpline: 0808 800 4444
Website: https://scotland.shelter.org.uk

Human rights

KIND UK

Free expert legal help to children, young people and their families without “secure immigration status” (undocumented) and no access to legal aid.

Online referral form: https://www.kidsinneedofdefense.org.uk/get-help/
Website: https://www.kidsinneedofdefense.org.uk/

Scottish Refugee Council

Direct support and advice services for refugees add people seeking asylum and their families in Scotland.
They also offer a direct support service (“Family Rights Service”) to children 0-18, who have recently entered asylum process, this includes pregnant women and single parents.

Helpline: 0808 1967 274
Email: families@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk
Website:
https://scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk/

Legal advice and information

Citizen Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, impartial advice, support and information on all matters to do with the law and your rights, including family issues.

Telephone: 0808 800 9060
Website:
https://www.cas.org.uk

Coram Children’s Legal Centre

Part of Coram Family group, the Children’s Legal Centre is concerned with law and policy affecting children and young people. Many years of experience in providing legal advice and representation for children, their carers’ and professionals.

Website: https://www.childrenslegalcentre.com

Law Centres Network

The voice of local law centres which provide free independent advice and representation to disadvantaged people who live or work in their catchment area. The LCN does not employ lawyers and is unable to give advice directly to the public but the site will help you find a law centre nearest to you.

Website: https://www.lawcentres.org.uk

Law works

Website to search for legal clinics offering free legal advice to those not eligible for legal aid and can’t afford to pay a lawyer.

Website: https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice-individuals/find-legal-advice-clinic-near-you

Resolution

Organisation of solicitors committed to promoting a non-confrontational atmosphere in which family law matters are dealt with in a sensitive, constructive and cost-effective way. Pls see website for members in your area.

Website: https://resolution.org.uk

Scottish Child Law Centre

Free legal advice for and about children and young people.

Telephone: 0131 667 6333
Website: https://www.sclc.org.uk

Support through Court

Charity helping and providing support and information to people facing civil and family courts
without a lawyer. Several offices across the UK. See webpage for locations and individual contact details.  Appointment requests can be made via website using link below.

Website: https://www.supportthroughcourt.org/contact-us/

The Family Law Association

They offer a search engine for family lawyers in Scotland. Their website provides detailed information on matters relating to the Scottish courts and how they deal with family cases and general information relating to private law matters (divorce plans for children after separation, domestic abuse, etc.)

Website: https://www.familylawassociation.org

The Scottish Legal Aid Board

Advice on getting help with the cost of any legal proceedings.

Telephone: 0131 226 7061
Email:
general@slab.org.uk
Website:
https://www.slab.org.uk

Citizen Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, impartial advice, support and information on all matters to do with the law and your rights, including family issues.

Telephone: 0808 800 9060
Website: https://www.cas.org.uk

Mental health

Mind

Provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Also has a network of local Minds https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/local-minds/ delivering mental health support, including advocacy.

Infoline 0300 123 3393
Legal line 0300 466 6463
Email: info@mind.org.uk
Website: https://www.mind.org.uk

Money, debt, welfare and benefits

Advicelink Cymru

Advicelink Cymru provide quality assured advice on welfare benefits, debt, employment, education, housing, immigration and discrimination. The service aims to help people access the right advice, at the right time and make it easier for them to access services again if they need further help—whether that’s about the same issue or something new. The advice line and Relay UK line are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Advice Line: 0800 7022020
Relay UK line: (if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say) 18001 then 08082 505 720
Website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/our-work/advice-partnerships/advicelink-cymru/

Money A&E

Money advice and education to disadvantaged groups, diverse ethnic communities and young people.

Telephone: 0208 616 3750
Email: info@moneyaande.co.uk
Website: https://www.moneyaande.co.uk
For money and debt advice:
https://www.moneyaande.co.uk/money-coaches

Parenting and families

Dewis Cymru

Service directory to find local and national organisations and services.
Specific section on “children in care” and “family support”.

Website: https://www.dewis.wales/

Find Your local Family Information Service (FIS)

Service directory, advice and guidance on different services for children, young people and their families. It is a service for all parents and carers of children, including grandparents and professionals.

Website: https://www.gov.wales/find-your-local-family-information-service

Gingerbread

Offers a range of services for lone parent families throughout England and Wales: a telephone helpline, membership, training and learning opportunities, free publications and campaigning work.

Helpline: 0808 802 0925
Check website for opening hours: https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/talk-to-us
Website: https://www.gingerbread.org.uk

Kinship

Works to raise the profile of support kinship carers in their homes and communities, giving advice and helping them work through problems to find the best way forward; connect carers together in national community and network of local support groups; help professionals understand kinship families and improve support for them. And through our research and campaigns, make sure kinship care is understood and government knows what changes are needed.

Advice and Information: 0300 123 7015
Website: https://www.kinship.org.uk

National Association of Child Contact Centres

Promotes safe child contact through child contact centres. These are places where children of separated families can spend time with parents and other family members when there are no other viable options.

Information Line: 0115 948 4557
Email: contact@naccc.org.uk
Website: https://naccc.org.uk

National Prisoners’ Families Helpline

Promotes the just treatment of families by the prison system; provides a nationwide network of support services to prisoners’ families; offers a helpline to anyone with a relative or friend in prison in England or Wales.

Helpline: 0808 808 2003
Website: https://www.prisonersfamilies.org

Relationships

One Plus One

One Plus One is a team of researchers, practitioners and information specialists whose aim is to enhance understanding of how family relationships contribute to the well-being of adults and children. They provide online information for couples and for separating parents which can be accessed via their website.

Telephone: 07818 137443
Contact Support: 
support@oneplusone.org.uk
Website: https://www.oneplusone.org.uk

Social Care (Adults) Support

Cardiff and Vale Advocacy Gateway

Advice helpline for anyone over the age of 18, receiving social care/support from social services (or think they should be) as well as professionals working with anyone of the above group.

Telephone: 0808 801 0577
Email: socialaction@promo.cymru Website: http://cvag.cymru/

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