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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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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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Refugee children from Ukraine – kinship care guide

Supporting kinship carers of Ukrainian refugee children banner

There are increasing numbers of refugee children in England who have fled the war in Ukraine and are being raised by kinship carers. Kinship care involves a child, temporarily or permanently being raised by a relative or a friend of the family or connected person who is not their parent.

Such arrangements may have arisen in a number of different ways, including situations where the child left Ukraine with their relative, or travelled alone and arrived in the UK to live in safety with a relative resident in this country. Or the child may have arrived in the UK with their parent who has subsequently returned to Ukraine. The carer may be a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme who was known to the child’s family and who is now caring for the child.

The precise numbers of Ukrainian children in the UK are not known. But the situation facing them when they arrive is complex. Eligibility for support can be affected by the immigration route they travelled on and the type of kinship arrangement they are living in.

Refugee children from Ukraine – kinship care guide

This guide sets out the key information relevant for these families all in one place. It includes information on:

  • Key immigration rules
  • Parental responsibility and decision making
  • Legal and practice framework
  • Specialist support for children and families

The guide is written for social workers and other practitioners, and may also be of use to families. It is the result of a collaboration between Family Rights Group, Coram BAAF, Coram Children’s Legal Centre and Children and Families Across Borders. The work was initiated by Family Rights Group’s Chief Executive and is funded by Save the Children UK.

This guide should not be used to give legal advice and is for information and guidance only. For advice on individual cases, assistance should be sought from an independent regulated legal adviser.

Download the Refugee children from Ukraine - kinship care guide (PDF)

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