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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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Domestic Abuse and Child Welfare

The impact of domestic abuse on adult and child victims can be devastating and long lasting. However, too often parents who have experienced domestic abuse, feel that they are further punished by a child welfare system that blames them for failing to protect their child but neither engages nor holds the perpetrator of the abuse to account.

Two in every three mothers (68%) advised by our advice service in 2018/19 stated that domestic abuse was a reason why children’s services were involved with their family. This is a significant increase. In 2007/08 fewer than one in five mothers said domestic abuse was a factor.

This vlog by our Chief Executive, Cathy Ashley asks whether placing the responsibility on mothers for failing to protect, and then possibly removing their child, is the right response for the adult victim or the child?

Knowledge Inquiry on Domestic Abuse: Developing Good Practice Principles for Children’s Social Care

Our Knowledge Inquiry on Domestic Abuse aims to develop principles for good practice for children’s social care services. The principles are being developed in partnership with children, mothers, fathers, wider family members, practitioners, managers, commissioners and academics. Our ambition is that this will deliver respectful, effective work with families that safeguards children, recognises the needs and wishes of adult and child victims, including their safety and holds perpetrators to account.

Mary Ryan and Robert Tapsfield are carrying out this work for Family Rights Group. The Knowledge Inquiry report will be published in 2021.

If you would like to be involved or contribute to the Inquiry, please email

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

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