Know your rights

You may think you don't have rights - wrong!

The UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) apply to all children aged 17 or under. Your rights include the right to be protected from all types of violence, the right to be healthy, the right to have a say and to be taken seriously, and the right to have an education that helps you grow as a person.

It's your RIGHT to speak out if you are not happy about something; you can use our contact form to contact us if you're not happy with something.

You can make a complaint yourself by contacting Have Your Say at If you wish to speak to someone in the complaints team you can ring free phone 0800 1380 133.

So what is the Speak Up Service?

Speak Up is York's Children's Rights and Advocacy Service and is here to help you understand your rights, and to provide you with help and support on anything and everything to do with being in care. Speak Up like to know your opinion on Children's Services, on being in care and on what you'd like to happen in your life.

The people at Speak Up are called advocates and they are there to speak on your behalf and help resolve any problems or issues you have. Advocates are confidential, and won't talk to your social worker, foster carers or any other workers without asking your permission (unless you are putting yourself or someone else in danger).

Advocates can help you...

  • find the right words to make sure you're listened to.
  • express your views and get them heard.
  • get information about what you want to know.
  • work out what your options are.
  • sort things out with the adults in your life.
  • complain about a service or the way you have been treated.
  • and many many more...

Advocates are there to represent you and only do what you ask. They'll stop anytime you say you don't want their help anymore.

Contact Speak Up!

If you'd like the support of an advocate, you can Speak Up by calling 07769725174 or you can also use our online contact form.

York Advocacy

If you're aged 18 and over, York Advocacy can support you to make sure your voice is heard, and to speak out on your behalf.

Law Stuff

Law Stuff has information on anything and everything to do with your rights, whether you want to know when you can leave school, when you can get a tattoo or how the council can help you when you're in care.

Young People's Survival Guide to York

The Young People's Survival Guide to York has all the information you may need when making decisions about your life, and it has lots of information about your rights as well.

Advice and Assistance Leaflet OCC

This poster by The Children's Commissioner explains the kind of help they can offer children and young people. It is printable, easy to read and worth a look at.