We've provided answers to the questions we are often asked.

Click on the headings to go to the questions and answers.

Extra help/Family Support

Sometimes parents or carers need extra help from outside agencies because they are struggling to raise their children or their children have particular needs. Children's Services are required to provide extra help for 'children in need' in their area so they should help with this. If you feel that you or your child needs extra help, read our FAQs to find how to go about getting family support services. You might also want to look at our useful links section.

Domestic Violence

Further information on domestic violence can be found in this section of our website.

Child Protection

Social Workers have a legal duty to investigate if they suspect a child could be at risk of harm. If social workers are worried about your child and are investigating, read our FAQs to find out what is involved and how best to respond.

Section 20 / voluntary accommodation




Fathers are very important to their children. We have a range of FAQs specifically for fathers.

Raising a relative or friend's child

Read our Top tips for social workers and senior children’s services managers on special guardianship.

If you are a family and friends carer (also sometimes known as a kinship carer) raising a child who is unable to live with their parents; you may want to read our FAQs.

Thinking of raising a friend or relative's child who can't live with their parents

Read our Top tips for social workers and senior children’s services managers on special guardianship and those considering becoming a special guardian.

Sometimes relatives and friends may be worried about a child, or be aware that social workers are concerned about the child. If you would like to offer to care for a child in these circumstances, but want to know more about what is involved, you can read our FAQs to consider what your options are and how best to go about it.

Care proceedings

Children's Services may start care proceedings to remove a child from their home. They can do this if they believe that the child is suffering harm (or might suffer harm) and this is the best way to keep them safe and well cared for. This can be very upsetting for their parents and wider family. Read our FAQs to find out what happens in care proceedings and what this means for you.


Children may be adopted because their parents or wider family aren't able to raise them long term. The adoption process can seem complicated and frightening. Read our FAQs on adoption to find out what is involved and what you can do if this has been suggested for your child.


Social Workers work to legal standards and guidelines. If you think that these standards might have been breached in your case or if the service you got was not good enough, read our FAQs to find out how to make a formal complaint.

Note on jurisdiction: the information on this website refers to England and Wales. Wales has some differences in law and guidance to England, so if unsure, please check with Family Rights Group about Wales. The information here does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Contact Us

The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street
London E8 3DL

For advice, please contact:
0808 801 0366
(from 9:30am to 3pm Mon-Fri)

For administrative queries,
please contact: