Headlines: December 13th, 2007

A report published today sets out the views of children and young people on the minimum standards of care they should receive. In it they call for respect between children and everyone living and working with them and say carers should do everything to keep children safe from harm.

The report, ‘Children on Care Standards’ has been produced by the Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan. Its findings are based on the views of children and young people who were consulted at his annual conference.

Asked what action should be taken in cases where a child was not being looked after properly, the youngsters suggested the child should be moved elsewhere. They believe, too, that such problems should be resolved by the social services department responsible for placing the child in the first place and they stress that a child or young person should not be moved without their consent.

The more than 400 children who were consulted also said the new rules should recognise the importance of staff and carers in children’s lives but they said the people working with children had to be the right people, properly qualified and properly recruited and checked. Stability, they said, was essential for young people to achieve their potential so they wanted staff changes to be kept to a minimum.

Dr Morgan said, “The children and young people have told me that they want to be made aware of the National Minimum standards and how it applies to their settings and want to be treated fairly and with respect.”

When asked their views about what staff and carers looking after children should never do, the children listed swearing and shouting at children or belittling them. They also felt it was wrong to punish children by stopping them from seeing their families.