There are lots of reasons why young people may not be able to live with their own family. These pages tell you a bit about your rights and responsibilities.


Your rights are things that you expect to receive or to happen for you. For example, you have the right to:

  • be looked after well
  • feel safe
  • have a say in decisions that are made about you.

Adults are responsible for promoting and safeguarding your rights. These rights should be respected at all times.

Your rights are written down in laws, for example, The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and The Human Rights Act 1998, and other documents like government reports, the National Care Standards and the policies and guidance written down by East Lothian Council.

Respect and responsibility

Everyone has rights and it's important to remember that your should respect other people's right - the children and young people that you may live with and the adults responsible for your care.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

An important document for children and young people that has influenced all of these other documents is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the government has promised to use this when planning and providing series for children. The key rights for children under the UNCRC are:

  • protection (the right to be safe)
  • provision (the right to be well looked-after
  • participation (the right to have your say and be listened too).

It is important to understand that your rights should only be restricted in a legitimate way, and this must be balanced and fair. This is called proportionality.

It is also important to understand that all decisions must be made in your best interests.

National Care Standards

The six key rights areas areas (or principles) that the standards are based on are:

  • dignity
  • privacy
  • choice
  • safety
  • realising potential
  • equality and diversity.

We have expanded on these headings a little in the following pages to make sure that we cover all of the information that you may find most useful.