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There’s lots of legislation, regulation and guidance that tells children in care and care leavers what rights and entitlements they have because they are, or have been, looked after children.

Some are general promises about what children in care and care leavers can expect from everyone involved in looking after them such as their right to be listened to and have their wishes and feelings taken into account when decisions are made about them

As a leading rights based charity, NYAS is committed to ensuring that children and young people are encouraged and supported to express their views and have their rights respected, protected and represented in all matters which affect them.

All NYAS services are formulated around the child-centred principles set out in the Children Act 1989 and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in particular Article 12, which is all about the right for children to be heard and involved in decisions that are made about them.

The UNCRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Covering all aspects of a child’s life, it makes clear that every child has rights, irrespective of their status.

Children and young people – Article 12

When a decision is made that impacts you, it’s important that your thoughts and opinions on the matter are taken seriously, no matter how old you are. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child means that your views, feeling and wishes should be listened to and taken seriously when a decision is being made that affects you.

If you feel like your views, feeling and wishes aren’t being taken seriously or listened to, it might be a good idea to speak to someone about your situation.

An independent advocate will always be on your side and won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

If you would like more information about this right and other entitlements you have,  please call our free helpline 0808 808 1001 or email help@nyas.net for confidential help and support.