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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How can a parent get a solicitor to help them during care proceedings?

Legal aid is the use of government money to pay for people to receive legal advice and representation. All parents whose children are subject to care proceedings automatically get free legal aid to cover the cost of a solicitor advising and representing them. And other costs relating to their case such as the cost of interpreters. Or having an expert to prepare an assessment report.

Other people with parental responsibility for a child who is the subject to care proceedings are also entitled to free legal aid.

This type of legal aid parents (and others with parental responsibility) get is called ‘non-means and non-merits tested’ legal aid. This means that it does not matter what the parent earns, or what savings they have. The strength of their case is also irrelevant. They will still receive free legal aid for their case.

If care proceedings have been started (‘issued’) or a parent thinks or has been told they may be they should seek legal advice urgently. They should look for a solicitor who is a specialist in children law or who has ‘Children Law Accreditation’.  To find a solicitor, search using the ‘how to find a solicitor’ function on the Law Society website.

See our Working with a solicitor guide on our Top tips and templates page for more information about finding and working with a solicitor.

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

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