Your Rights

Your Rights

There are lots of reasons why children and young people come into care; no two stories are the same, and each person’s experience in care is different too.

It is only natural to be a little bit scared or worried coming into care. Try to remember that the adults around you want the best for you and want you to be safe.

Let’s start by talking about the different types of care. Most children and young people in care live in:

For more information download our Guide to care for children here. Our guide to care for young people here.

Foster Care - where you live with another family in their home.

Kinship Foster Care - where you will live with someone else in your family other than your mum or dad (like your aunt or granny).

Residential Care - where children live together in the same house (a children’s home) with adults who are there to look after you all.

Your Rights

Every child has rights, whatever your ethnicity, gender, religion, language, ability, or where you live. You have a right to special protection and help if you can’t live with your own family. These rights include:

coming into care

if your parents are not able to look after you properly, you must be cared for by someone else who will respect your culture, religion and language. You have a right to contact with both parents, unless that is harmful to you.

Reviews: While you are living in care, your care, protection and health should be regularly reviewed by social sieves and your views taken into account..

putting you first

when adults make decisions or do anything that affects you, they should always think about what is best for you.

your safety

you must be protected from violence, abuse or neglect by anyone who cares for you.

putting you first

when adults make decisions or do anything that affects you, they should always think about what is best for you.

your safety

you must be protected from violence, abuse or neglect by anyone who cares for you.

Moving on from Care

Some children and young people spend only a short time in care before returning home. Some young people live
in care until they are 18 years of age and are ready to move into independence and adulthood.

You should not have to leave care until you are ready to. To help you prepare, you will be have a personal adviser who, along with your social worker, will work with you to come up with a plan of support. This is called
a Pathway Plan.

Your pathway plan will set out the help and support you need for your:

•  health and development
•  education, training or employment
•  family support or other relationships
•  financial needs
•  practical skills for independent living
•  care, support and accommodation.

For more info in what you need to know about leaving care talk to a VOYPIC Youth Rights Worker.

Have a look at this short video from NICCY – 
the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children
and young – about the rights that every child has.

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