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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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Does having had a child removed mean a new baby will also be removed from a parent?

It is very common for parents in this situation to be worried that their new baby could be removed. Even if they feels things are now different. Sometimes pregnant women and fathers-to-be then try to avoid health care or other services. But this is not a good idea. It is likely to make things much worse.

When children’s services are notified that the mother is expecting another baby, they will get in touch to start a pre-birth assessment. When doing this assessment, children’s services will take into account what has happened in the past. But they must look at the parent’s current situation.

The best things for parents to do are:

  1. Stay in regular touch with health services and keep appointments

    This includes seeing the GP and midwife regularly. This will make sure that the right health care (‘antenatal care’) is in place during the pregnancy. And the right care after the birth.

  2. Work with children’s services

    This will help make sure there is a good pre-birth assessment done. It will help to develop the right plan for when the baby once born.

  3. Working with children’s services may involve:

    • The social worker clearly explaining their concerns
    • Parents working with the social worker to understand these concerns
    • Parents taking steps which may help to overcome the problems. Including understanding the problems which led to a previous child being removed. And working through what has changed since then
    • Understanding what support is needed to help with the new baby. And how to get this all put in place
    • Involving wider family and friends. Thinking through what support they can offer. And who could care for the baby if a parent is unable to.

If social workers are worried the baby may be at risk, they might arrange a child protection conference with other professionals to discuss planning for the baby further.

When parents have had a child removed from their care in the past, they should seek legal advice about what might happen when their baby arrives. Parents may want to:

  • Read more helpful information and advice about the child protection process on our Child protection page
  • Post a question on our Parents Forum to receive advice from one of Family Rights Group’s expert advisers or for further advice or complex situations
  • Contact 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)
  • Seek legal advice about from a solicitor.  To find a solicitor, search using the ‘how to find a solicitor’ function on the Law Society website.  Look for someone who is a child law specialist. Or who has Children Law Accreditation. For information about finding a solicitor and working with them, please see our top tips guide Working with a solicitor.
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