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Children's Support and Advocacy

Within West Lothian we are committed to providing advocacy and support for young people in care.

The core of our work is to provide independent advocacy, advice, support, representation and information to all children and young people in the community. Our main role is to encourage children and young people's participation, involvement, respect and promote the realisation of children and young people's rights. All of this is informed by the United Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

What is the United Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)?

  • Adopted in 1989 by the UN General Assembly, the UNCRC is an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social, protection and cultural rights of children throughout the world. The UNCRC has 54 articles that are concerned with children and young people's non-discrimination rights, protection rights, development and participation rights.
  • Every country apart from America and Somalia have signed up to at least some of the articles within the UNCRC, which means they become an internationally binding agreement.
  • For an easy read of your rights, refer to Scotland's Commissioner For Children & Young People.

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy means you are entitled to a representative who can support you in many settings to ensure your views are heard and your rights are upheld.

What does 'Looked After' mean?

This means you are under the care of the local authority. Another term is 'being in care'.

How do we provide this?

  • Visits to residential houses/schools
  • Visits to children and young people placed outwith the local authority, including residential schools, secure units and other independent providers
  • Delivery of training to professionals and young people on participation and the UNCRC
  • Development and support of various groups groups and forums across West Lothian, mainly the 'Having Your Say' forum for looked after young people within West Lothian
  • Independent representation for young people at panels, hearings, reviews and any other formal and non-formal setting
  • General provision of advice and information