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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If their child is struggling at school, how can a parent or carer get help?

If a parent or carer feels their child needs extra help at school, a good first step is to talk to their teacher or head teacher. Or to contact the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (known as a SENCo) for a discussion.

All mainstream schools must have a SENCo:

  • They are responsible for arranging help for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Should work with subject teachers to plan and deliver support to the child.

This kind of support is called SEND support. This replaces the old categories of School Action and School Action Plus.

Contacting the local Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service to discuss about how to get extra help is also a good option. The role of IAS is to help parents/carers negotiate with the child’s school and/or the local authority to get the support needed.

The Council for Disabled Children has a search tool to help families find their local IAS service. It is available here. Children’s services and schools should also be able to provide details about how to contact the local IAS Service.

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

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