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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How will families know what services are available locally?

Local councils have a legal duty to publish information about support families will find in the area for:

  • Disabled children, and
  • Children with special educational needs.

This information should be set out in their ‘local offer’.

Government regulations called The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 say each local council must put their local offer up on their website (see paragraph 57). They must provide details of how anyone without access to the internet can get a copy of the local offer.  And must provide details of how different groups can get a copy of the local offer. This includes disabled people and those with special educational needs.

The same regulations say a local offer should include information about what different agencies can provide for children and young people in the area (see schedule 2). Education, health services, children’s services and adult social care services are all examples of agencies.

It should be clear from a council’s local offer:

  • Who a service is for
  • How it can be accessed
  • How it is decided who gets support or a service
  • Where children and families can get information, advice and support schedule 2, paragraph 15)

How families can make complaints about any provision or service set out in the local offer (see schedule 2, paragraph 17).

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

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