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Advice Line

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Our Advice and Information Line

Please call us on:
020 7735 8941
Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm

CFAB assist people who have been separated from family members as a consequence of divorce, migration, seeking asylum, trafficking and abduction, as well as other vulnerable individuals for whom there are protection concerns.

The International Network

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Did you know...?

We answered 2,019 calls on the advice line in 2012 offering specialist advice to over 120 local authorities and 392 private individuals

Our National Advice and Information Line is a free and confidential telephone helpline for any enquiries that concern children and family welfare matters and cross international borders.

Please call us today on 020 7735 8941!

The service is manned by specialist intercountry social workers. The line is open to all statutory and voluntary agencies as well as to private individuals in the UK and we also offer a secure online enquiry system

  • CFAB has a 96% satisfaction rate from callers to the advice line where they rated our service as very good or excellent.

Why call CFAB?

CFAB has a unique global perspective, and our unique network gives us local knowledge across the globe. We have expert knowledge of international conventions and social work practices around the world. Using this expertise the advisors can inform the enquirer of the options available to address the issue and advise on the pros, cons, risks and likelihood of successful outcomes in most countries around the world.

Our trained advice line worker will help you with any query about a child or adult who needs a social work service in the UK or overseas. CFAB's advice line offers an invaluable tool to social workers in their care planning and in section 47 enquiries. We are a unique resource to Courts and legal professionals in progressing cases with an international element, and a trusted and sympathetic advisor to private individuals struggling with international child welfare issues.

Referral Process

Advice line

Please call our advice line on 0207 735 8941 or access our online enquiry form if you are facing an intercountry situation and need assistance to deal with the matter in a manner most likely to result in a successful outcome. We will then be able to give you advice as to whether we can assist in your particular case. If we are unable to help we can usually signpost you to a service that can. If we are able to help we will then send you our referral guide and price plan.


We will ask you to please fill out our case summary form and our professionals contact sheet which one of the social worker team will send to you. Long experience has shown us that the information we ask for on these forms is that which is most likely to lead to a service being received overseas. Though it may be tempting to send child protection conference minutes or court documents these will almost certainly have no meaning overseas. Once you have completed the form we will take the information you provide us with to access the service or information needed overseas. There are fees to the service we offer here at CFAB. These will be discussed with you by the advice line worker you are working with.


Your case will then be allocated to one of our intercountry social workers. We have a team of multi national social workers who have experience of social work in the UK and overseas. They have expertise in areas such as child trafficking, unaccompanied minors, child abduction, mediation, children in public care, safeguarding, private fostering and private law.


Using our unique international network we will ensure the service you require is passed onto the relevant local service in the country concerned. We will then work with you and our partners overseas to ensure that the work is completed.

Each country organises it’s social welfare services differently. Many countries do not have the systems we have here so expecting form F’s to be completed in the developing world or monitoring of plans of protection to be the same in Eastern Europe as they are here is not realistic. What we can ensure is that the relevant social work professionals in the overseas countries will complete the tasks requested in line with their own legislation, practice and professional guidance.

Case Study
child and father

A local authority from the Midlands was in court applying for an Interim Care Order. It emerged from the Mothers solicitor during the hearing that her parents in Australia would like to care for the child. During a recess the social worker called CFABs advice line and was able to ascertain that an assessment of the Maternal Grandparents could be procured via CFAB, the timescales for the assessment and the cost involved. CFAB also advised on the likely immigration and visa issues. The social worker was able to report this directly to the court and agree timescales for a final hearing based on CFABs immediate advice and support.


In 2011 CFAB answered 2,019 inquiries, relating to the UK and 124 countries, referred from 120 local authorities & 392 private individuals helping to change approximately 8,000 children's lives.

Our Advice Line ensures:

  • Children are effectively safeguarded across international borders
  • All family options - including those overseas - are properly explored
  • Expertise and knowledge regarding international social work issues increased amongst front line staff

Department of Education

We are grateful that this service is fully funded by the DfE.

CFAB Services

CFAB is proud to offer the following services by our team of qualified social workers:

CFAB charges fees to statutory bodies for the services we offer. Details of these fees are fully explained over the phone. Private Individuals do not pay.

Save money and time by joining CFAB's new Membership Scheme - for more details click here

[I was delighted to find CFAB and discover how valuable your work is and that an organisation such as yours exists. The report that you have provided is imperative to my case and will hopefully assist me to gain greater access to my child, I cannot thank you enough.]
Private Individual 2013

[The service I received was excellent and I will recommend your efforts to my colleagues]
Solihull Social Worker

[Without CFAB my children would never have been brought back to the UK from Mexico, their role was crucial]
Private Individual

[Your social worker simplified a complicated question and explained everything clearly and very well. ]
Liverpool Social Worker