“Rights" are things every child should have or be able to do. All children have the same rights. These rights are listed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
For young people working with professionals there are some rights that it is really important to be aware of:
All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.
You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
If you live in care or in other situations away from home, you have the right to have these living arrangements looked at regularly to see if they are the most appropriate.
You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met.
You should not be disadvantaged so that you can't do many of the things other kids can do.
You have the right to protection from any kind of exploitation (being taken advantage of).
No one is allowed to punish you in a cruel or harmful way.
You have the right to help if you've been hurt, neglected or badly treated.
If you think that the organisations who are working with you are not meeting your rights or they are working you in a way that you disagree with you can make a complaint. All organisations in Bristol should have a complaints system that is easy to use.
Making a complaint or raising concerns about the service you are getting should not change your right to access help or support.
The professionals who work with you should always give you the details of their manager. This is who you should contact with your concerns first. Always try and sort out a disagreement with the team who are supporting you first of all.
If they do not help you sort out your concerns you can follow an organisations’ complaint process. They should be clearly available on the organisations website so you can google the organisations’ name (Bristol City Council, Avon and Somerset Police, CAMHS etc) and the word ‘complaint’.
Here are the websites for some agencies’ complaints:
Bristol City Council (Social Workers, Early Help Workers, Family Workers, Schools, YOT): https://www.bristol.gov.uk/en_US/complaints-and-feedback/children-and-young-people
Health Services (GPs, Hospitals) - https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/#complain