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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When can a family group conference take place? Are there situations when family group conferences are commonly used?

Most families need some help and support in caring for their children. Often this is from other family members and friends. Some families may be receiving early help , such as therapeutic support, from a specialist agency.  Some may be involved with children’s services in some way. This might be as a child in need or the child protection processes.

A family group conference can be used when any decision needs to be made about any aspect of a child’s life. And the earlier a family group conference takes place, the more likely it can help to stop problems getting worse.

Families should be offered a review family group conference. And another family group conference can take place later, if helpful.

 Examples include:

  • To create a plan to support parents struggling with raising a child
  • When decisions need to be made about where a child is going to live if they cannot stay at home
  • To agree contact with the family when a child is in care or being raised by a kinship carer
  • When plans are being made for a young person about to leave care, or who has left the care system
  • When there are difficulties with a child’s education.
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