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). 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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What is the impact of drug or alcohol misuse on children?

Substance misuse can affect children in different ways. A child’s:

  • Basic needs may be neglected by a parent who is misusing drugs or alcohol
  • Physical and mental health may be affected. Children can feel worried, anxious and upset that their parent or carer is drinking too much for example
  • School attendance may worsen. They may be worried about leaving their parent or carer alone. Or the child may not have the practical of emotional support to prepare for the school day
  • For more information and advice about how children’s services should work with and support young carers, see our frequently asked questions about Young carers
  • Own behaviours may become harmful. They may be vulnerable to experimenting with drugs or alcohol at an early age for example.
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