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Always remember these are your rights. They are meant to protect you and everyone involved in your care has to make sure they are respected. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 requires that these rights are supported by carers and caseworkers.
For an easy to understand explanation of your rights, have a look at our resources for 7 to 12 years old children and 13 to 17 years old young people. These include booklets, videos and posters to download.
Your rights explained in a easy to understand language - download the Charter of Rights - Blue booklet for 7 to 12 years old (PDF, 12.1 MB).
For quick and simple explanations of key rights check out our videos.
Bright, colourful, printable posters on your rights as a child in care.
Your rights explained in a easy to understand language - download the Charter of Rights - Green booklet for 13 to 17 years old (PDF, 20.1 MB).
For quick and simple explanations of key rights check out these videos.
Bright, colourful, printable posters on your rights as a young person in care.
The Care Leaver’s Charter of Rights outlines key principles that The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) will follow in supporting care leavers as they transition to independent living.
It is intended to help care leavers become confident, resilient and independent adults who feel in charge of their own lives.
The Charter uses the voices of young people who are or were in care to say what is important to them, how they should be treated and what they expect from the practitioners who support them.
No matter what your age, if you're in out of home care, you have the right to stay in contact with your family, including your siblings.
Talk to your caseworker about:
Your caseworker has the responsibility for ensuring you can spend time with family. They will talk about how this can happen, with all the people involved such as your foster carer/s, parents/other family members and others where relevant.
A schedule of family time involving phone, online or face-to-face activities will be developed during case meetings as part of your annual case plan. You and/or your carer will be given a copy of your family time schedule after each case meeting.
A case plan records all the actions necessary in order to help you achieve your goals, support your development and prepare for the future. Case plans also list the people who will support you and how they will do this.
During case meetings some important decisions about your life will be made including where you're going to live and for how long, how you'll be spending time with your family and plans for your education, amongst other things.
The law says you have the right to be kept informed, express your views and participate in decisions about what's happening in your life. It's really important that you consider speaking up in these meetings to ensure your views are heard.
Here are some ways in which you can participate in case planning:
The caseworker will ensure you have the opportunity to have input by providing:
Read more about how you can prepare for case planning meetings and have a chance to speak up DCJ's Leaving care information for young people.
From the time you enter care, your caseworker will be in regular contact. However, you don't have to wait for your caseworker to contact you. You can contact them at any time to discuss any concerns, questions or issues you may have.
Your caseworker will:
Any additional support you may need will be outlined in your case plan. For example, seeing a psychologists or other medical and health service such as a dentist.
Your caseworker often has to make decisions about your life, but they should always speak to you first to get your input before a decision is made.
28 Feb 2023