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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.

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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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Lancashire’s Lifelong Links Journey

Lancashire invested in Lifelong Links in 2022. Getting started was not what we expected, setting up something new, something our Children in Our Care teams didn’t know anything about. We expected a slow start, but how wrong we were! We have worked closely with our colleagues and in our first 10 months have received 30 Lifelong Links referrals!

On the 2nd March we held our launch event where one of our wonderful social workers spoke about the impact that the Lifelong Links work has had on one particular child.

“Lucy’s social worker says that the Lifelong Links work is magical and has had a hugely positive, therapeutic impact on Lucy”.

Lucy’s Lifelong Links Story

Lucy is 14 years old and she has an amazing sense of humour. Lucy and her little sister have been with the same foster carers for almost 7 years, but things were becoming tricky. Lucy finds her little sister a bit annoying! Lucy said she felt unhappy when they argue and this makes her feel “fizzy” inside.

Before Lifelong Links, both Lucy and her sister saw their mum regularly. However, they have different dads. Lucy did not know who her dad was and got upset when her sister was able to see her dad. Lucy was angry with her mum as she thinks her mum tells lies and that she won’t tell her who her dad is.

Lucy thinks that everyone should know who their family is and make their family tree. She believes that they should spend time together with people who are important to them.

Lucy chose to have her Lifelong Links sessions at school, because she loves school so much that she said she would like to sleep there, plus her support person is around if she needs her.

Lucy’s mum has also worked with the coordinator and we were able to find out that Lucy has a big sister who shares the same dad! Lucy is excited and is getting to know her big sister through letters, cards, and messages – soon she will be having telephone and video calls (if not too camera shy!).

Lucy’s paternal family have been found and through them we have found dad! At first Lucy’s dad felt unsure about Lifelong Links and what that would mean for him and his family life. But after several sessions with the coordinator, he is now ready to meet Lucy! She is naturally both excited and nervous about meeting her dad but mostly she is happy that we have found him, and that he wants to know her.

Things at home are getting better too – Lucy is pleased mum has helped us find out more about her family and, Lucy’s social worker says that the Lifelong Links work has had a hugely positive, therapeutic impact on Lucy.

This article has been anonymized.

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