A brilliant new website for children and young people living in institutions goes live at 4pm today.
Called rights4children, the site is packed with information about children’s rights, on topics important to them. It has been created by Article 39 working with the web design company Wholegrain Digital.
Forty-eight children and young people, aged between 10 and 20 years, gave expert advice on the content and design of rights4children.
Children and young people living in Lincolnshire secure unit and William Henry Smith residential school were closely involved in the development of the site for several months.
Ten year-old Bailey said:
“Go and check the website, it’ll tell you everything”.
“It would have been useful to have a website like this when I first arrived at my secure children’s home”.
“I think the information in this website would allow me to make better choices if I felt I was being unfairly treated” added Tyler.
Content is organised into four sections – ‘Your life, your feelings’, ‘Where you live’, ‘When things are difficult’ and ‘Moving and leaving’ – and covers a wide variety of children and young people’s concerns, from pets, to privacy, to food and special diets, to restraint and use of force and making a complaint.
The site launches with stories of six adults who spent time in institutions as children. They reflect on what helped them get through tough times. This part of the site was added after many children and young people communicated they want to have hope that life can get better for them.
David Hunt from Wholegrain Digital said:
“The visual design aims for a warm and caring environment whilst keeping the mood positive, fun and engaging for all age groups. We are so pleased to have worked with Article 39 to bring a simple-to-use website to the children who need it the most.”
Carolyne Willow, Article 39’s Director, said:
“Children who live in group settings have the right to a great childhood, where they feel loved, respected and proud of who they are and their achievements. But life can be really tough for many children living away from home, and rights4children aims to be there for them – telling them about their rights and where they can get help. We’re hoping adults will use the site too, because there can never be too many people standing up for the rights of children.”
- The site can be found at www.rights4children.org.uk
- A young person detained in Cookham Wood young offender institution came up with the site’s name.
- Our site would not have been possible without the expert advice of children and young people, and support from adults who look after them. THANK YOU. A full roll of honour can be found on the site.
- Article 39 is very grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Bromley Trust who fund our work.