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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Strategy discussion (meeting)

A strategy discussion is also called a strategy meeting. It takes place between a social worker and other agencies when they are worried a child may be suffering significant harm. Or if they suspect a child is likely to suffer significant harm.

Examples of practitioners who may be at a strategy meeting include police, a child’s teacher, health visitor, a parent’s mental health worker.

The aim of the meeting is to decide whether to start child protection enquiries. If enquiries are to start the meeting will decide:

  • If the enquiries will be done by children’s services
  • If the enquiries should be done jointly by children’s services and the police
  • If jointly, who will lead the enquiries – the police or children’s services.

The meeting will agree if any immediate steps need to be taken to keep the child safe.

Parents are not normally invited to a strategy discussion. But they should be told soon afterwards what the plan is for the child, as long as this does not cause any risk to the child.

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