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). 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 parents and carers get a child in need assessment?

Parents and carers can contact their local authority’s children’s services department at their local council and ask for a child in need assessment. These details should be available on the council website or from directory enquiries. First contact may be with a multi-agency safeguarding hub or a duty social work team. It will be helpful to think about:

  • What the problems are
  • How bad they are
  • How extra help will help the child and family
  • What might happen if extra help is offered.

This information can then be shared with children’s services. This could be written down or emailed. It could be explained in a meeting on the telephone, video call or in person.

Parents can give children’s services any other useful information. This can include details of other people involved with the child, including family and friends. It may be someone who works with the child such as a teacher or someone at a children’s centre. They may all have information about the extra help that might be needed.

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

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