Children's rights

If you have been or are in care, the council has a responsibility to make sure your rights are respected and you are treated fairly.

The children's rights team make sure you receive help and advice face to face, over the phone or by letter. They can attend meetings with you, or help you get legal advice and support when you make a complaint.

How we support you

How the children's rights team can help you:

Advocates - speaking up for you

An advocate is like a messenger who speaks for you on your behalf. They can support you to ensure your views and feelings are heard when decisions are being made about your life.

Independent visitors

An independent visitor is a volunteer who will spend time with just you on regular basis. They are someone that you can talk to, get along with and ask for advice.

Contact us

You can get in touch if you want to:

  • give us feedback
  • tell us you are unhappy with something 
  • tell us about something you think we could do better
Contact Children's Rights

Get involved

How you can get involved and have your say about the services and support you receive.

​The Shadow Board is an opportunity for young people in Northamptonshire to have a say in the services they receive.

If you are enthusiastic about giving your opinions about the issues that affect children and young people in the county, this is your chance to make a difference.

Shadow Board meetings:

  • are open to all young people aged 11-18 (or up to 25 for anyone with additional needs)
  • take place monthly, often in Northampton (but free transport can be arranged)

There is no set time commitment – so come along and see if it's for you. The meetings can open up other opportunities, such as training and fun activities.

Find out more

You can find out more about getting involved with the Shadow Board by contacting Children's Rights:

Contact Children's Rights

The Children in Care Forum is a chance for you to have a say about things that really matter and affect your life. Whether you live with a foster carer, in a children’s home or have recently left care, your ideas can make a big difference.

The Children in Care Forum:

  • meets regularly to discuss ideas and plans
  • takes part in fun activities and events
  • works on projects such as websites, events, newsletters and activity organising

Do you want to join the Children in Care Forum?

To join the Children in Care Forum or find out more, complete this form:​

Join the Children in Care Forum

​The participation service offers advice and activities for children and young people aged between 8 and 24. It also allows you to get involved with children’s rights.

What kind of things could you be involved with?

You can:

  • be on the interview panel for adults who want to work with children and young people
  • be part of a consultation or research group
  • help train social workers and others working with children and young people
  • be a member of the children in care forum
  • be a member of the Shadow Board
  • take part in the making of training DVDs
  • help in the production of a Children's Rights newsletter
  • help to develop shared interest groups
  • take part in activities including whitewater rafting sessions and cinema trips

Want to get involved?

You can find out more about the participation service by contacting Children's Rights:

Contact Children's Rights

​Young people’s NSCB

The Young People’s Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) is a group of young people who meet to discuss issues affecting young people's lives and give their views and opinions.

Northampton Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC)

The NAYC offers opportunities for young people to get involved in a wide range of activities.

Our pledge to young people in care and care leavers was set up in conjunction with the Children in Care Forum.

We will:

  • Always keep you informed and updated
  • Let you know who you can contact out of hours or if you don’t have a social worker
  • Support you with your next steps – particularly with independent living skills and getting ready to be an adult
  • Listen to your views
  • Provide you with a sense of stability, belonging and safety
  • Help you with your health needs
  • Ensure all professionals working with you will be professional, upbeat, organised and truthful
  • Guide you through your education
  • Review the Pledge every year with looked after children and a residential activity considered
  • Support you with your hobbies, new experiences and leisure opportunities
  • Support you to stay in touch with your family and friends

The Care Leavers' Charter

The Care Leavers’ Charter was drawn up by the Department for Education in October 2012.  It sets out a list of promises for central and local government to make to young people moving out of care and into adulthood. It is agreed each year by councils.

​Shooting Stars are a group of young people with additional needs who represent other young people in Northamptonshire.

What do we do?

  • Discuss young people’s issues and services for young people with additional needs
  • Make sure only the right adults are chosen to work with us
  • Support training
  • Make sure locations such as shopping centres, places to visit and leisure centres in the county are accessible and safe

These issues are fed back to help improve the services provided to you. It's a great way to learn new skills, meet lots of different people as well as being good fun.

For more information about how to get involved with the Shooting Stars group, please get in touch with us.

Get involved