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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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Scenario 2 – Young person living with sponsors with parent living elsewhere in England

Scenario 2 - Young person living with sponsors with parent living elsewhere in UK

A mother and her 17 year old daughter are living with sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The mother decides to the leave sponsor’s home and live at a property nearby. Her daughter wishes to remain living with the sponsors.


The mother and daughter may wish to obtain legal advice on their visa statuses, given the arrangement that was in place at the time the visa under the Homes for Ukraine scheme was granted is no longer in place.

Legal responsibilities and status:

The local authority should complete a private fostering assessment including a DBS and accommodation check, to assess the suitability of the arrangement. As the young woman is over 16, they are not statutorily required to continue with private fostering procedures. However, they can continue to do so if their assessment suggests it will be supportive.

Children’s services will need to consider how to support the young woman and sponsors. They will need to consider the Family and Friends Care Statutory Guidance, particularly what their local Family and Friends Care policy says about what support might be available to them.

The daughter may not wish to be involved with social workers given the role of her mother in her daily life. As she is over 16, her wishes and feelings will be important in decisions about whether the local authority remains involves.

The local authority may consider supporting the arrangement under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (child in need), if the young woman is consenting to social work support. Parental responsibility remains with the mother (and the father if he has it).


The sponsor will be eligible for the £350 monthly payment.

The sponsor or mother can apply for child benefit and may also be eligible for other benefits such as universal credit. The sponsor and mother should agree who is to receive the child benefit, according to who will be paying for food and clothing.

The local authority can signpost the hosts to Family Rights Group Help and Advice.

The local authority can signpost the young woman to potential therapeutic support from Barnardo’s Ukrainian Support Helpline and share the resources regarding the impact of war, loss and trauma.

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