Children and young people have their say on the revised National Minimum Standards for children in care

Children and young people have voiced their views on what the new National Minimum Standards for children's social care should cover and have stressed that care placements should be designed so that brothers and sisters can stay together.

Children on care standards, published today by Children's Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan, sets out the views of 433 children and young people consulted at the annual Children's Rights Director conference. They said that there should be respect between children and everyone living and working with them. Staff and carers should do everything to keep children safe from harm and ensure they grow up healthily.

When asked what they thought should happen if a child or young person isn't being looked after properly, they proposed that the child should be moved elsewhere. They said that the social services department that had placed the child there should sort the problem out. They also stressed that a child or young person should not be moved without their consent.

Children and young people also said the new rules should recognise that staff and carers are important in children's lives. People working with children and young people must be the right people, qualified, properly recruited and checked. They said stability was essential for children and young people to achieve their potential. As a result changes of staff should be kept to a minimum.

Dr Roger Morgan, Children's Rights Director for England, said:

"This report contains the views children gave us, without adult views being added. 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.

The report sets out the main rules that children have proposed in relation to safeguarding, workforce issues, administrative requirements, complaints procedures, privacy, children's rights, valuing diversity and behaviour management which I hope government officials will find useful when writing the new rules."

Children said that staff and carers should respect children and young people's privacy, by giving them appropriate space to be on their own and asking permission before entering their bedrooms. They expressed their views on things that make a place good and bad to live in, what children want staff or carers to do when looking after them, and what staff and carers should be allowed to do to make sure children behave.

When asked on their views of what staff and carers looking after them should never do they said that they should not be allowed to swear at, shout at or belittle children and young people. They also stated that children should not be stopped from seeing their family as punishment.

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Notes for Editors

1. The report, Children on care standards is published on the Ofsted website, www.ofsted.gov.uk and the Office of the Children's Rights Director website www.rights4me.org

2. This report sets out the views of 433 children and young people who gave us their views on the rules of the Government National Minimum Standards which say how children should be looked after in each main sort of social care service for children. This report has been produced at the request of the Government in order to put children's views forward to those who need to take them into account.

3. The Children's Rights Director for England has a personal statutory duty to ascertain the views of children living away from home or receiving social care services. He is now based in Ofsted.

4. From 1 April 2007 a new single inspectorate for children and learners came into being. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) has the responsibility for the inspection of adult learning and training - work formerly undertaken by the Adult Learning Inspectorate; the regulation and inspection of children's social care - work formerly undertaken by the Commission for Social Care Inspection; the inspection of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service - work formerly undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Court Administration; and the existing regulatory and inspection activities of Ofsted.