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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What should happen after a child in need assessment?

By the end of an assessment, the social worker should have a clear picture of the child’s situation. They will have decided whether the child is a child in need.

The social worker should let the parent or carer and child know what will happen next. If the child would benefit from extra help a child in need meeting should be arranged by the social worker.

The meeting is where those working with the family discuss with parents and carers what help is needed. If the child agrees and is old enough, they may be at the meeting. A child in need plan will usually be made at this meeting.

The aim of a child in need plan is to provide support so the child to continue to live safely within their family. Parents and carers should be asked what they think would help them and their child, and if they agree to what is put in this plan. It is good social work practice for the plan to be provided in writing and signed by both the family and the social worker if it is agreed, even if this is by email.

See our Child in need plans and extra support section for helpful information and advice about child in need plans.

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