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Help at Hand may give advice and assistance to children who are in care, working with social services, living away from home (for example, in custody or an inpatient at hospital) or care leavers. The Children’s Commissioner does not have regulatory or ombudsman powers.

The following is a list of organisations that may be able to assist you depending on your concern:

If you are concerned about the safety of a child 

Police999 if its an emergency
NSPC0800 50000 

If you need advice about family breakdown, the following organisations might be able to help:

Child Law AdviceSpecialist advice and information on child, family and education law 
Rights of Women Specialist advice and information on child, family and education law
RefugeSupport for women and children who are experiencing all forms of domestic abuse  
Family LivesNational family support charity providing information and help for families that are struggling 
Find a Solicitor  To find a local lawyer 
Gingerbread Support for single parents 

If you have a concern or complaint about children’s services, the following might be helpful

Family Rights Group      Advice and support for families whose children are working with social services 
Local Authority  If you are unhappy with a decision made by your local authority’s social care team, you have the right to make a formal complaint. A guide to this can be found here
The Local Government Ombudsman Investigates formal complaints made to local authorities 

If you are contacting us about an education query you may find the following helpful

IpseaInformation, advice and support on issues relating to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 
Ofsted For complaints or concerns about a specific school 
Office of the Schools Adjudicator Helps to clarify the legal position on admissions policies in schools. 
Child Law Advice Specialist advice and information on child, family and education law 

If you are contacting us about an immigration issue, you might find the following organisations helpful

Coram Migrant Children’s Project Promotes the rights of all refugee and migrant children, young people and families. Email advice service: [email protected]  
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) A directory of reputable immigration law solicitors 
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner – GOV.UK ( Help to find an immigration advisor 

If you have a query about mental health services for children

Young Minds Advice and resources for children and young people who are worried about their mental health.  
For urgent help text YM to 85258.  
Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544 

If you have a query about housing or homelessness, the following organisations maybe able to help

Crisis If you are worried about someone who is at risk of becoming homeless 

Help at Hand is the Children’s Commissioner’s advice and assistance service for children in care, children who have a social worker or are working with social services, children living away from home and care leavers.

Children, young people, or their advocates can get in touch with Help at Hand for free by phone, website or email. 

Phone us free on

0800 528 0731

email us or send us a message via our online form

We are here to help

Before you decide to contact us, you might find the answer to your question is already here in our most frequently asked questions. Pick the option that applies to you for more information.

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a voice for teenagers in care and care leavers