How to contact us for advice

Find out more

Telephone Handler
Close form

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.

Telephone Handler

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.

Family Rights Group
Cover Your Tracks
Generic filters
Exact matches only

What does research say helps make contact a positive experience for children looked after in the care system?

A major review of research about children having contact with families in 2020 found that:

  1. Most children who are looked after in the care system value their family networks
  2. There should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to contact. Each child is different and has different needs. Contact arrangements should reflect this. And regularly reviewing arrangements as things change is important
  3. It is important for children and adults to be supported to understand the purpose of contact. When they do, contact is a better experience for the child
  4. Decisions about how often contact takes place need to be made keeping in mind the purpose of contact. Decisions need to also need to take into account: children’s views, any potential risk of harm and the quality of the relationships
  5. However often contact takes place, it must always be properly supported
  6. Sometimes children can become upset during contact. But this does not always have a negative impact on them if the right support is given by practitioners
  7. It is important to remember that difficulties in contact do not mean contact needs to be automatically be stopped. It may mean the family might just need a bit more help
  8. Skilled professional support can help repair relationships between children and their parents. If there have been difficulties with contact, and there are things that parents think will help, then they should raise this with the social worker
  9. Children’s views about contact may change over time. They may express their views in different ways. It is important that social workers work with the children and their family to think about how a child’s views and wishes about contact can be best explored
  10. When care proceedings are ongoing and the final plans for the children are not yet decided, it is important for families to be supported to have a good time in contact with their children
  11. Often, social workers will suggest that children have some telephone contact or contact via video conferencing calls. This type of indirect contact can be really good for children – but should be used to enhance rather than replace face to face contact with their families.
People pie chart

Our funding means we can currently only help 4 in 10 people

Your donation will help more families access expert legal advice and support from Family Rights Group.

Donate Now