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CCLD 305

Outcome: 305.1
Factsheet - Welfare and Rights of the Child

The Children Act 1989 came into force in October 1990.Its aim is to protect children in all
situations whether in their own homes, day care or full time care.

The main principles of the act are:

• Children are entitled to protection from neglect abuse and exploitation.


• The welfare of the child is the first consideration.
• The child's wishes should be taken into account when making decisions.
• Professional should work in partnership with parents at every stage.
• Where ever possible children should be brought up and cared for by their families.
• Although the basic needs of children are universal there can be a variety of ways of
meeting them.
• Patterns of family life differ according to culture class and community. These
differences should be respected and accepted.

The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by the United
Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the 16th December 1991. By signing to the convention
the government has the duty to ensure that every child under the age of 18 years (article
1) has all the rights in the convention except articles 10 & 37, which they have reservations
about.

There are 54 articles altogether. Articles 43-54 are about how adults and governments
should work together to make sure all children get all their rights.

The convention is an agreement between countries to obey the same law. It was created
over a period of 10 years with the input of representatives from different societies, religions
and cultures.

The main articles that relate to childcare practitioners are:

Article 2
Applies to everyone, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, and
whatever type of family they come from.

Article 3
All organisations concerned with children should work towards what is best for each child.

Article 12
Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making
decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.

Article 13
Children have the right to get and to share information, as long as the information is not
damaging to them or to others.

MACTAC ©2007
Article 14
Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion as
long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide
their children on these matters

Article 28
All children and young people have the right to primary education, which should be free.
Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this. Discipline in schools should
respect human dignity. Young people should be encouraged to reach the highest level of
education they are capable of.

MACTAC ©2007