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). 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.

Family Rights Group
Cover Your Tracks
Generic filters
Exact matches only

Social workers say my grandchildren are going into care, what can I do?

The law says that when a child is looked after in the care system, children’s services must:

  • First look at placing the child with their parents, but only if they are assessed as being suitable to look after the child and this would be in the child’s best interests
  • If a placement with parents is not possible or suitable then children’s services must place the child in the most appropriate placement. When deciding this, they must give priority to relatives, friends or other people connected with the child who are approved as foster carers.
  • Only where this is not possible should a child be cared for by unrelated foster carers.

It might be that the social workers did not know about you when your grandchild first came into care. OR perhaps they did not have time to contact you because it was an emergency. Whatever the precise situation it is important to urgently:

  • Contact children’s services or the particular social worker straight away and to
  • Let them know you would like to care for your granddaughter.

They will want to do an assessment before they agree she can live with you. But a quick assessment can be done to give temporary approval as a foster carer. This will mean the child will be able to move quickly, if this is in their best interests.

If the arrangement is to continue in the longer term a full fostering assessment will need to be done. A grandparent, or other relative caring for a child in this type of situation is called a kinship foster carer. This is a type of kinship care.

For more helpful information about kinship care see our Kinship carers page. This includes a section on Kinship foster care. And for further advice options include:

  • Posting a question for one of our expert advisers on our Advice Forums, and if needing further or more detailed advice
  • Contacting us – call Family Rights Group’s specialist legal and practice advice line on 0808 801 0366 (the advice line is open Monday to Friday, from 9.30 am to 3 pm excluding bank holidays).
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