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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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How should sibling contact arrangements be reviewed when a child is in care under a voluntary arrangement?

The arrangements for sibling contact should also be regularly reviewed. Government statutory guidance says the independent reviewing officer (IRO) should make sure review meetings consider contact between siblings. The guidance is called the Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations volume 2: care planning, placement and case review. Siblings who are looked after in the care system should share the same IRO (see paragraph 2.89).

Reviewing the sibling contact arrangements involves looking at whether sibling contact is taking place in line with the care plan (see paragraph 2.89). The IRO should make sure the child is happy with the contact they are having (see paragraph 2.85).

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