Using data gathered through the work of our advocates and our Annual Participation Programme, we have started capturing a list of frequently asked questions around care experience and rights related themes.

We hope you find these helpful. If you have a question that is not covered below, please speak to your WC?S advocate about it. If you don’t have an advocate, you can find out about our referral process by clicking the Get Advocacy link below. If we are not able to provide you with an advocate, you can contact our Helpline for support and signposting.

Rights FAQs

Rights FAQs

How can I get contact with my brother or sister?

Families are important, especially relationships with your brothers and sisters— your siblings. We know these relationships are important for mental health and a sense of identity, so you should be able to contact your brother or sister unless for some reason it’s not in your best interests.

Where can I find information about housing?

Shelter Scotland provide housing advice and information, including advice specifically for young people.

Where can I find out about mental health services for children and young people?

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland gives advice about rights in relation to mental health care and treatment.

NHS Choices – Young People and Mental Health offers advice and information about a variety of mental health problems, as well as links to useful resources.

Breathing Space is a helpline staffed by trained advisors. They will listen and provide support and advice (tel. 0800 83 85 87).

Young Scot has advice if you don’t feel your right to good physical and mental health is being met.

Rights resources

Want to check out the full Resource Library?

Here you’ll find our full range of resources which can be filtered by type and theme depending on what you are looking for.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every single child.

This means Scotland and the UK agree that the rights of children should be protected and promoted in all areas of your life, including your rights to:

  • education,
  • freedom from violence, abuse and neglect,
  • be listened to and taken seriously,
  • a proper house, food and clothing, and
  • relax and play.

Article 20 of the UNCRC states that children and young people have the right to special protection and help if they can’t live with their family. In many cases, this will involve going into care.

Meaning you have the right to go into care, and to have your rights respected when you are there. As well as:

  • Independent checks whilst you’re in care to ensure your rights are respected, especially if you are disabled or a refugee.
  • Your opinions should be listened to and taken seriously when you’re in care.
  • Freedom to do things you want to do and be able to grow up safely and happily.

In Scotland children and young people in care have additional rights under Scots law.

Article 21 of the UNCRC says that when a child or young person is adopted or living in foster care, their best interests should come first. People should listen to what a child or young person wants and should take this into account when making decisions about where they live.

If a child or young person becomes adopted, they should be adopted by people who are able to treat them well. Adoption should be properly regulated to make sure all children and young people can live a safe and happy life.

Our friends at the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland also have a helpful website that deals with children and young people’s rights more broadly.