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Your rights

Children and young people become looked after when parents are unable to provide ongoing care. This could be temporary or permanent.

If you’re in the care of a local council, you will be considered a ‘Child Looked After’.

Care Order

You may be on a Care Order. This means that a decision has been made in court with help from Children’s Social Care that you should be looked after by the local council.

This means we share parental responsibility with your parents. You will remain looked after until you’re 18 years old.


You may be accommodated (this is Under Section 20 of the Children’s Act 1989).

This is a voluntary agreement by your parents and means that the council and your parents have agreed to share responsibility for your care.

Your parents will still be part of any decisions that are made about how you are looked after.

Once you are over 16 you can sign yourself into care under a voluntary arrangement, as long as you fully understand the decision you’re making.

Our pledge - we promise to:

What we will do

There are things that the law says Children’s Services must do for you to make sure you are safe and well cared for.

Care Plan

We will make sure you have a Care Plan.

A Care Plan says how your needs will be met, who will be responsible for supporting you and what the long term plans are for your care. We will make sure it includes your views and is up to date. Someone will give you a copy and sit down with you to make sure you understand what it says.

Placement Plan

Wherever you are living you will have a Placement Plan.

This is done when you first move in and will be updated if you move.

A Placement Plan is part of your Care Plan. It explains why your placement was chosen and how the placement will care for you on a day to day basis.

Personal Education Plan

We will make sure you have a Personal Education Plan. This can also be part of your Care Plan.

It is about your educational needs and how we will support you to achieve your educational goals. You will have a meeting to talk about this to make sure your views are included.

Health Action Plan

We will make sure you have a Health Action Plan. It is about your health care needs and how those needs will be met.

Independent Reviewing Officer

We will give you an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).

An IRO is a person who makes sure that the local council is doing their best to take care of you. An IRO will chair your Child Looked After reviews and will work with you to make sure these meetings are useful and include your wishes and feelings. You will be able to chair your own reviews if you want to. Your Care Plan will be reviewed at these meetings.

Your identity

When we make decisions about you, will we take into account your:

  • religion
  • ethnic and racial background
  • culture and language

You have the right to keep ties to the things that are important to you and your identity.

Contact with people that are important to you

We will help you have contact with important people in your life like:

  • parents
  • brothers and sisters
  • extended family members
  • close friends

Regular visits from a social worker

A social worker will visit you regularly at the place where you live - you might hear it called your placement. They will offer to speak with you alone if you want to.

Independent Advocate

If you want an Independent Advocate we will get one for you.