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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Will children’s services respect family culture when making child protection enquiries and doing an assessment?

Children’s services should look at children and parents as individuals. They should look at their specific needs. And should respect the structure, culture, religion and ethnic origins of their family (see Working Together 2018, page 26, paragraph 43 and 45). When doing assessments children’s services should:

  • Try to understand how a family operates
  • Look at how any religious beliefs and cultural traditions influence this
  • Work with the whole family
  • Pay attention to the community a family are part of
  • Understand what support the community may provide
  • Be aware of the effects of racism and discrimination
  • Be careful not to stereotype or make assumptions when doing their assessment.

If a child has links to a foreign country, children’s services should look at what help the foreign embassy may be able to give. They should look at this as early as possible. Government guidance called Working with foreign authorities: child protection cases and care orders points out that the embassy may be able to help the social worker to work with a family and explain any differences in approach to child protection matters.

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