Children's rights

Children's Rights Service

On this page you can find out who can use the Children's Rights Service and what the service does.

Who can use the service

The Children’s Rights Service is there for children and young people up to the age of 26 who are looked after or who have left care. You can also ask for the help of a Children’s Rights Officer if you are going through child protection because people are worried that you might be at risk of being harmed.

Looked after can mean that you are living away from home at the moment. You might be living in a children's home, a foster family, kinship care, a residential school or a secure unit. It can also mean that you are living at home while on a compulsory supervision order from a children’s hearing.

You have important rights which must be respected.

Anyone who is care experienced or going through child protection can ask for help from the Children's Rights Service, but the Children's Rights Officer will only get involved if you agree.

What the service does

The Children's Rights Service is there to help you to better understand your rights and responsibilities when being looked after or living away from home or in child protection. We can also tell the adults responsible for you about what rights you have and how they can respect them.

The Children's Rights Service can:

  • Give you information and advice about your rights, if you'd like a copy of our information pack contact children's rights officer
  • Help you to represent your views at meetings, like children’s hearings, Looked After Reviews, child protection conferences or other meetings, and help you to think about what you’d like to say
  • Help you make a complaint, or sort out your concerns
  • Listen to and take seriously what you say
  • Help you to put forward your views on services for children and young people
  • Help put a stop to things that should not happen
  • Make sure that those caring for you listen to what you have to say
  • Put you in touch with other people who can give you help and advice, for example a solicitor

children's rights officer is there to work for you and with you. You can ask the children's rights officer about any problem, or worry you may have, or about what your rights are.

The children's rights officer can help over the phone, by letter, email, text or WhatsApp, by video link or by arranging to visit you in a place you find suitable. You can have someone there to support you if you want.

Anything you tell the children's rights officer is confidential. They will not discuss it with any other person without your permission, unless you tell us something that could cause harm to you or someone else.

Social workers, residential workers, teachers, foster carers and other adults who support you should know about the Children's Rights Service and will be able to help you use it. You should not be stopped from contacting the Children's Rights Service and you should never get into trouble for this. It is your service and you have a right to use it.

Rights Matters newsletters

Rights Matters is our Children's Rights Service newsletter which circulated to all children aged 5 and above who are looked after away from home. You can view our most recent issues.