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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Do families have to accept the help or services offered?

No. Parents or carers can decide not to accept child in need services.

Sometimes parents or carers may feel that they do not want to accept the help suggested. If a parent or carer feels like this it is a good idea for them to talk things through with the social worker. Or with another practitioner involved with their child. The parent or carer can:

  • Say if they think that the help offered isn’t needed or isn’t the right help
  • Explain what kind of help they feel the family do need
  • Share any worries they may have about working with a certain service or person
  • Ask about how the help offered will be reviewed
  • Ask the social worker exactly what will happen if they don’t accept the help offered.

If a parent or carer does not accept the help or services offered, the social worker involved may worry about whether the child and family may struggle, and things may get worse. They may look at whether children’s services need to start child protection enquiries or recommend a child protection conference.

See our Child protection page for more information.

If children’s services are not worried about the child’s welfare, then they may close the child’s case.

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

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