The Child Law Advice Service provides legal advice and information on family, child and education law affecting children and families in England. This service is provided via this website packed with how to guides and information pages. A dedicated intensive support telephone line is also available for complex matters and clarifying questions.
We cover legal issues that may arise following relationship breakdown as well as Local Authority intervention and child protection issues.
Our education advice ranges from admissions issues to exclusions as well as what to do if your child is being bullied to how to get help for your child if you suspect they have a Special Educational Need.
The Child Law Advice Service is part of Coram Children’s Legal Centre, the UK’s leading children’s legal charity, and falls under the Coram Group.
The Child Law Advice Service has been accredited by the The Helplines Partnership.
The Child Law Advice Service is staffed by fully trained paralegals specialising in family, child and education law. They all hold a legal qualification, having completed law degrees, legal practice courses or specialist paralegal courses. Our staff come from a variety of backgrounds including having worked in Citizen Advice Bureaux or other legal firms. All our advisers are trained in customer service, call handling and digital communication.
In 2014, CLAS launched a volunteer programme and has a number of volunteers working within the team. If you are interested in volunteering, see our volunteering page.
The Advice Line
We operate a limited intensive support telephone line for complex matters and clarifying questions. The demand for this line is high and the funding we have in place is limited thus we are only able answer a limited number of calls. We would therefore ask you to carefully read through all the relevant available data provided on this website and only contact our intensive support telephone line with genuine, clarifying questions on the information provided.
The advice line is staffed from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Please note that we can only advise residents of England, and cannot advise you if you have a Solicitor acting for you.
Please note that abusive behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated and we reserve the right to terminate the call if this occurs. Our staff will also not tolerate bad language being used during an advice call.
Cost of calls
The Child Law Advice Service operates an 0300 number which costs no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 8p and 40p per minute.
The Child Law Advice Service carries out research to influence policy developments in the areas of education, child and family law in England as part of its work with Coram Children’s Legal Centre.
Recently, the Child Law Advice Service contributed to the Department for Education Consultation on Special Guardianship and our submission can be accessed here.
The Child Law Advice Service also prepared a briefing on the exclusion of 3 – 7 year olds with Coram Children’s Legal Centre which can be accessed here.
For more information on our policy work please visit the Coram Children’s Legal Centre website.
The Child Law Advice Service regularly conducts research into legal updates in the areas of child, family and education law including current consultations on policy, bills before parliament, new legislation and key cases.