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The rights of children and young people in care


Your social worker has the responsibility for collecting information about you and your family in order to plan services for you. 

Information about you can only be shared with professionals who involved with your care and welfare, such as teachers, your doctor and the police.

Making a complaint

You have the right to complain about your care. The first thing to do is to try to talk to an adult about what is making you angry or upset.  For example, you could talk to:

  • Your foster carers or residential staff
  • Your social worker
  • Your conference and review manager
  • Your teacher or doctor 

They'll try and sort out your complaint as quickly as possible.  If they're unable to do so they'll ask you to make a formal complaint which means that your complaint is written down and sent to the complaints officer. The complaint officer will appoint someone to investigate your complaint.

If you need help making a formal complaint you could ask an adult or you could contact NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) who are independent of the council.

Download the leaflet [pdf] about how to contact the children's complaints manager.

If you need to contact the complaints manager you can: 

National youth advocacy service (NYAS)

NYAS are a children’s charity who work with children and young people to ensure that their voice is heard in important decisions which affect their lives. 

Before making a complaint you could speak to an adviser to see if there's anything that can be done to resolve your issues without making a formal complaint. 

If you still want to make a formal complaint, a NYAS adviser can help you to write your complaint and will support you whilst this is being investigated.

For more information visit the NYAS website


Advocacy is a when a person you know and trust is assigned to speak and make decisions on your behalf about important decisions which affects your life. 

An advocate can attend meetings with you including children in care case reviews, personal education plans and child protection conferences.  

An advocate will provide you with information on their rights and entitlements. Being an advocate is about representing your views and ultimately enables them to become decision makers.

If you think you need independent help please contact NYAS.

Independent visitors scheme 

An Independent Visitor is there to be your friend and can help with consistency, support, advice and encouragement. 

NYAS supplies independent visitors to visit, advise and befriend young people who are looked after by the local authority.