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Your rights when dealing with children's services

Your rights when dealing with children's servicesDiscover what your rights are when dealing with family courts, social workers or living in care.

Family courts

  • Should always take into account your wishes and feelings when making a decision about who you should live with or who you have contact with.
  • Should appoint a lawyer to represent your views if a court is considering whether you should go into care or be adopted.
  • If your parents are ignoring your rights, you can appoint your own lawyer.

Dealing with social workers

  • Social workers must always try to take account of your wishes and feelings.
  • If you are unhappy at home and want a social worker, you should contact your local children’s services.
  • If you are aged 16 or 17 years old and there is no one suitable to look after you, you have the right to ask to be looked after by children’s services. 
  • If you are aged 16-21 and are in care, you should have the right to have a personal adviser to make sure you get everything you need as you enter adulthood.

Regular checks on your care

  • If you are concerned about your care situation, you can request a review meeting with an independent reviewing officer, (IRO) to express your views.
  • If you are aged 16 or older, you should have a pathway plan, which you draw up with your personal adviser.

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