Help and advice Our services Help and advice Update from INQUEST in response to Covid-19 on 17 March 2020 INQUEST staff are working from home and continue to provide our usual services as best as possible. As the situation unfolds, we will provide regular updates via our website and social media on the provision and availability of our services and other support agencies. Read the full update here. What families want is effective change so others don’t die because of the same failings. The involvement and support of INQUEST brings all this together. I have a lifelong loyalty to INQUEST. They provide you with support you just can’t get from anywhere else. - Bereaved brother Specialist casework We provide free and independent advice on the inquest process and related investigations following a death in state care or detention in England and Wales, and in some other cases where the conduct of the state or corporate bodies are in question. We are entirely independent of government. This enables us to offer unbiased advice on the options which might be open to you. This is also essential in our work to drive systemic change in legislation, policy and practice to prevent future deaths. The INQUEST team will not waiver from our commitment to standing shoulder to shoulder with families in the search for truth, justice and accountability following contentious state related deaths. Our areas of expertise From 1 January 2021, our specialist casework service covers deaths in the following circumstances: prison (including Young Offender Institutions and Secure Training Centres) police custody or following recent police contact immigration detention mental health setting recent contact with community mental health services of children & young people (aged 24 and under) subject to capacity a small number of other cases that do not fall into the above categories but otherwise raise concerns about state or corporate conduct and are of significant public interest. deaths following disasters such as Grenfell Tower and Hillsborough What we offer As part of our specialist casework service we provide expert advice and assistance on all aspects of post death investigation and inquest processes including the rights of bereaved people. Practical examples of assistance include helping families navigate the legal processes, exploring options for legal representation and funding, and empowering families to play a meaningful role in the investigation and inquest. We can also put you in touch with other families for mutual support, and information on how to engage with our policy work for systemic change. Read more on our family hub. The families we work alongside report feeling less isolated and more supported. Our way of working is collaborative and we are non-judgemental in relation to the background or actions of an individual who has died. Read more about INQUEST, our values and our impact. Please note we are a small team and the level of assistance we can provide is dependent on our capacity at the time. Contact us To contact the casework team: 1. COMPLETE AND SUBMIT A CASEWORK CONTACT FORM or 2. CALL US: 020 7263 1111 option 1 for new enquiries – open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday option 2 if you have a caseworker We aim to respond as soon as possible, however due to the high number of enquiries, there may be a short delay. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, investigations and inquests are currently subject to disruption and delay. Families who have concerns or questions about what this means for them should speak to their lawyer or caseworker. Cases outside of our criteria Unfortunately, we do not have the resources or capacity to provide a casework service for deaths that do not fall within our expertise and case criteria, as set out above. However, in cases outside our criteria we can: where applicable, signpost you to other specialist organisations or lawyers who may be able to assist. provide a free copy of the INQUEST handbook, on-line and in print (please note print copies are not available during the COVID-19 health crisis) The INQUEST handbook is a free and trusted guide for bereaved families and friends affected by a sudden death that involves an inquest. Visit the useful resources page for further information.