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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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Policy and Campaigns

Read about our family and friends campaigns, policy work and download our press releases

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Family Group Conferences

A family group conference is a process led by family members to plan and make decisions for a child who is at risk

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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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40th Anniversary Logo

We are a charity founded in 1974 by social workers, lawyers and families in response to the injustices experienced by many parents involved with social services (now known as children's services) and the unnecessary separation of children from their families.

This year we are launching a 40th fundraising appeal. We will be organising a series of fundraising and awareness-raising activities and events – but we need your help.

We have had some important successes over the last 40 years:
For example, 40 years ago parents were NOT:

  • legally represented if their child was subject to care proceedings;
  • included in their child's case conference, if there were child protection concerns;
  • invited to reviews if their child was in care. 
    Now they are

We have had a significant impact in influencing legislation, including the Children Act 1989. These achievements are in large part due to us consistently bringing evidence of injustices to the attention of politicians, practitioners and the media, and putting forward workable solutions in the interest of the child.

We are needed now more than ever:

Despite advising more people than ever before, we are inundated by families contacting our advice service. Increasing numbers are impoverished mothers, whose children are subject to child protection enquiries as a result of witnessing domestic violence.

We currently don't have the funds to be able to help all those who need it - 6 in every 10 people calling us don't get through to an adviser – and Department for Education funding for the advice service is due to cease in March 2015.

Meanwhile, we know that families, whose children are involved in the youth justice system or who are excluded, also need specialist advice and currently have no-where to go. We need your help to secure future funding and expand and extend the remit of our advice service.

Moreover, getting through to an adviser isn't enough for some families. They need additional help. Many wider family members, such as an older sibling wanting to raise her younger brother following their parents' death, are too scared, upset and fearful to navigate the system alone. It can feel overwhelming. With your help we can advocate for more families, including negotiating with the local authority on their behalf so more children can live safely and thrive within their family.

Research demonstrates that children who cannot remain at home often do better within their wider family, than in unrelated care. Yet family and friends carers, unlike adopters, don't have a right to paid employment leave, 38% are forced to give up work to take on the children and 75% end up in severe poverty. With your help we will tackle such iniquities, so ensuring that the voice of struggling families is reflected in policy debates and practice reform.

Ways you can help in our 40th anniversary year:

  • Join the Family Rights Group Supporters' Network and make a donation, no matter how big or small;
  • Become part of our 40th anniversary organising committee;
  • Help us to organise or promote an event for the 40th anniversary year or volunteer in some other way e.g. fundraising, design, printing, editing, film making or contacts with ‘celebrities' and artists;
  • Take part in sports events;
  • Follow us on twitter @familyrightsgp and like us on facebook;
  • Join our parents' panel or family and friends carers' panel. If you would like to get involved contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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Latest News

Family Rights Group's Summer Party, Children Act 1989 - 30 years on

Please book your ticket to Family Rights Group's Summer Party, Children Act 1989 - 30 years on (20th June 2019). We are raising much-needed funds for the continuation of our advice service.

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Movement for Good

Please nominate Family Rights Group today. The more nominations, the greater our chances of winning £1000, which would mean we could provide specialist advice to 20 more desperate families. It'll only take you a minute (our charity no. 1015665).

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Donate to Jeremy Westhead's JustGiving page

Congratulations Jeremy Westhead for running and finishing the London Marathon, and for raising over £6000 towards our advice line. You can still donate.

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