The Care Advice Line will be closed from Thursday 29th September to Tuesday 4th October. We’ll be back up and running as usual on Wednesday 5th October. If you are a child or young person seeking immediate support, please call ChildLine on 0800 1111. If you are an adult concerned for the safety of a child, please call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If your safety is at immediate risk, please call the emergency services on 999.
In care or a care leaver? Looking for help and advice? Talk to us in confidence – online or over the phone.
You can talk to us about things like:
How to get in touch
You can call us on 020 7017 8901 between 10:30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting in touch with the Care Advice Line
We know that it might be hard to pick up the phone or email us. If you’re thinking about getting in touch, the answers to some of these questions might be helpful.
Who will I talk to?
If you call us, you’ll be put through to Rufus, our Advice and Information Officer. Rufus has loads of experience of supporting young people in care and care leavers. He’s really friendly and a great listener! Rufus will also reply to emails and messages received from the contact form, and if he can't help you he will try to put you in touch with someone who can.
How much will it cost?
Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles between 3p and 40p per minute depending on your call package. If you have unlimited or a number of inclusive minutes your call may be 'free,' costing you minutes rather than money. If you are concerned about the cost of calling please ask us to call you back.
Can you call me back?
Yes, of course we can. You can send us your number by email or using the contact form and ask us to call you, or just call us and ask us to ring you back.
Will you tell anyone I’ve called?
Calls to the Care Advice Line are confidential, which means we will keep what you tell us private.
The only time we would have to tell someone about your call is if we are worried that you are at risk, someone else is at risk or you are being hurt by someone who works with children, like a teacher, social worker, foster carer or worker in a children’s home. If we have to tell someone about your call, we will do our best to discuss this with you before we do so and will work with you to make sure you feel safe.
When will I get a response from you?
We will do our best to get back to you the next working day.
What if you can’t help?
If we can’t help with your query, we will try to find out who can and will put you in touch.
I’m really upset and want to talk to someone about my feelings. Should I call the Care Advice Line?
If you ring us, we will offer what support we can. But the focus of our work is on giving you information and advice about practical problems you might be facing if you’re in care or a care leaver. If you are in distress, it may be that we need to suggest you ring ChildLine (0800 1111) or to the Samaritans (08457 90 90 90). Both of these support lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have trained counsellors on hand to support people who need emotional support.
I am a parent and my child is in care. Who can I contact for support or advice?
The Family Rights Group is a specialist organisation which support families whose children are involved with, or require, local authority services. Their website (www.frg.org.uk) has lots of information and advice and they have a Freephone helpline number, 0808 801 0366 (it’s open Monday to Friday 9.30am-3.00pm).
Are you in care or care experienced? Check out these useful websites…
Care Leavers’ Association
User-led charity run by care leavers for care leavers
Care Leavers’ Foundation
Provides assistance and support to care leavers
Free and confidential help for young people in the UK
ChildLine: 0800 1111
Coram Children’s Legal Centre
Children’s legal charity, dedicated to promoting children’s rights
Helps young people to hold services responsible for their care to account
National Advocacy Helpline: 0808 800 5792
Provides advocacy, legal support and assistance to young people in difficulty
Migrant Children's Project
Run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre. Helps migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children in the UK
Advice Line (Tues - Thurs 10am - 4pm)
0207 636 8505
National Youth Advocacy Service
Provides information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children and young people
Helpline: 0808 808 1001
Office for the Children’s Commissioner – England
Promotes and protects children's rights in England
Helpline for children in care: 0800 528 0731
Office for the Children’s Commissioner – Northern Ireland
Promotes and protects children's rights in Northern Ireland
Contact number: 028 9031 1616
Office for the Children’s Commissioner – Scotland
Promotes and protects children's rights in Scotland
Enquiries service: 0800 019 1179
Office for the Children’s Commissioner – Wales
Promotes and protects children's rights in Wales
Enquiries service: 0808 801 1000
Other useful organisations:
Support for the family members or friends of people with drug or alcohol problems
Support for foster parents and carers
Support for people with learning disabilities and their families/carers
Support for people experiencing mental distress and their families
National Domestic Violence Helpline
Help and support for people experiencing domestic violence