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Need help and advice

If your family is involved with children's services, or you need help from these services, our interactive web-pages will give you the information you need.

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Blogs and Vlogs

Families' voices and opinions are at the heart of our media. Our blogs and vlogs page features articles and videos by parents, kinship carers and other professionals on subjects of child welfare and more.

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Policy and Campaigns

Read about the Care Crisis Review, our kinship care campaigns, our policy work and download our press releases.

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Supporters Network

By joining the Family Rights Group Supporters’ Network, you agree to make a donation, no matter how big or small, which will make a crucial contribution to our work.

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Sibling Carers: the hidden family and friends carers

An analysis of the 2001 UK census recently showed that, at that time, there were over 65,000 children being brought up by older brothers and sisters, and the number has probably gone up since then. This is far more than anyone had previously suspected. It is little known that some famous people have either been sibling carers themselves (Mary Portas, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton) or been raised by older siblings (Alan Johnson MP, Malcolm X).

We published our own groundbreaking study of sibling carers Big Bruv, Little Sis in March 2011. We found that sibling carers often struggled to get acceptance and support from Children’s Services. They were not taken seriously because they were young. They sometimes had to live in overcrowded housing for years before they were moved to larger accommodation. They had to juggle work or college with their sibling carer responsibilities, and sometimes had to put off going to university. But they were highly motivated by wanting to keep their little brothers and sisters out of the care system.

This section of the website tells you about the help and advice we give to sibling carers.

If you are already bringing up a younger brother or sister, or are thinking about doing this, you will find the Information section useful. In this section you can find out about:

  • what the law says about your rights and responsibilities
  • what legal orders you could apply for
  • where to go for help and support
  • helping children stay in touch with their parents

You can sign up to our internet discussion board, where there is a section just for sibling carers.

If you are interested in going to a Support Group, you can find out if there are any in your area.


Telephone Advice Line

If you are a parent, family member or friend of a child, in England or Wales, who has social workers involved in your child’s life, or if you need extra support from Children’s Services, and would like to speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential helpline.

0808 801 0366 

(Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm)


Discussion Boards

For advice from our advisers, or to get online support from other people in a similar position to you, visit the parents or family and friends carers forums.  To explore new research and to discuss ideas with practitioners and families, visit the FGC Network  or the Your Family, Your Voice Alliance Boards. If you are a domestic violence worker or social worker in London, visit our new research and practice  board.




We have answered the most commonly asked questions put to FRG advisers. Please follow the links to see a list of questions and answers, grouped together by subject.

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Advice Sheets

For more detailed information, please see our range of advice sheets on family support, child protection, looked after children, family and friends care, adoption or challenging decisions.

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Family Rights Group has produced films for families to help ‘demystify’ the child welfare system.

Go to the relevant films to view fictionalised cases which show what happens when a child protection conference is held and similarly when a family group conference takes place.

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Advice during the Coronavirus Crisis

Delivering family group conferences during the Coronavirus crisis

This guide is written to help local authorities, during the crisis, to work in partnership with families. It describes how remote technology can be used to continue to enable family group conferences to be offered to families and to support their children during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Top tips guide for kinship carers to help children maintain relationships

This top tips guide is intended to support kinship carers to help children to safely maintain a relationship with those who are important to them, including their parents, brothers, sisters and friends, even if they cannot visit them.

Advice guide for parents and families with a child in the care system

In this guide, we have set out some creative ways in which relationships can be maintained and you can support your child during the Coronavirus crisis, even if you cannot visit them.

Join the Virtual Lobby of Parliament during Kinship Care Week 5-11 October

We are asking kinship carers and people with insight into kinship care to meet their local MPs online. Sign up to take part and make the case for a better deal for kinship carers.

Delivering good practice initial assessments of family and friends carers in the context of Covid-19

A new appendix to the existing good practice guide for practitioners assessing whether a family member or friend might be a potentially realistic option to be a carer for a child who cannot live safely with their parents.

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