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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Can social workers look at a parent or carer’s social media accounts?

A social worker may look at a parent or carer’s open social media account if worried a child is not safe or well cared for. This is because social workers have a duty to find out as much information as they can about a child’s situation to:

  • Help them understand any risk the child faces
  • Make decisions about what steps may need to be taken to keep the child safe and well.

But social workers have a duty to consider and respect confidentiality and people’s right to privacy. This means they should only access a social media account with a parent or carer’s consent. They should not routinely visit a parent’s social media accounts as a way of monitoring their behaviour, for example.

Note: Guidance from the Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office applies to people working for state agencies. This includes social workers in children’s services. And explains when they can look at someone’s social media account without their agreement.

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