Rights and Responsibilities
If you're living in foster care or in a children's residential home, then you should realise that while you should have your own expectations and what your rights are while you're there, you also have responsibilities as well.
When a group of people live together there have to be some rules for everyone's benefit. In every home and school there are things you are allowed to do and things you are not allowed to do. Everyone is subject to rules, including the adults looking after you. We want to encourage young people to behave well by forming good relationships.
But, as in most families, if you break the rules you must expect something to be done. Carers try to make sanctions relevant to the rules broken. For example, if you come in late you may not be able to go out again for a while. If you break something on purpose, you have to pay something towards it being replaced. Sometimes, a sanction will be doing extra jobs, or not being allowed privileges such as staying up late at weekends, or watching a favourite TV programme.
Staff in residential homes and foster parents are not allowed to hit you. Very, very occasionally, it may be that you or someone else in your home is being ill-treated or punished far too much. This is something that you must tell your social worker about, so that your problem can be looked into and sorted out.
If you feel that you are being bullied, speak to someone else about it. (Bullying is not acceptable. Anyone who is worried about being bullied has a right to help to make sure they are kept safe.)
When a group of children and young people live together, as in a community home, it can happen that some children are picked on because they are different in some way. At times, there does not seem to be any reason why one person is picked on rather than another.
Standing up to being bullied or picked on is very difficult on your own, so you should talk to the adults who are caring for you and try to get the help of other children or young people. Carers will try their best to stop bullying and children being picked on. This is not always easy and they may need your help in stopping a bully.
Always remember - it's the bully that is in the wrong not the person being bullied.
If you feel you are a victim of prejudice because of race, culture, sexuality or background, tell your carer, social worker, or someone you trust, so that his can be dealt with immediately.
The people who care for you will always try and make it possible for you to have some privacy to be alone. It can be difficult when there are quite a few people living in one house, but you should be able to have visits from your family in private, and be able to make private telephone calls. Your carers will talk to you about this when you arrive at a placement.
Norfolk County Council believes that as far as possible young people should be provided with places to live which reflect their racial origins, culture and language. Where this is not possible, then we will try to make sure young people are kept involved with their background.
The County Council has a dutyto help you to follow your particular religion during your time with us. The views of your parents and yourself on religious matters will be taken into account. Whoever is caring for you will discuss your personal religious practices with you, and arrange for you to receive religious instruction if you wish it.
If special arrangements need to be made to help you worship where you are living, this too will be arranged. It is important to remember that whilst not everyone has religious feelings, or a wish to practice their religion, everyone must try to understand the religious traditions and customs of others. Sometimes adults and children make fun of others who worship, or who worship in a different way. This is wrong and often hurtful. If you don't understand another young person's religious practices, don't make fun of it - ask them to explain it. You may be very interested by what they have