7 Golden Rules: Read me

Golden Rule 1: Understand my rights

I should be given information about my rights.

I need to understand why it is important that I am listened to, and have my views taken seriously.

Remember that I have a right to have a voice today, not just in the future.

Adults working with me should also learn about children’s rights, and why it is important to truly listen to me when making decisions that affect me.

It should be made clear to adults working with me that my participation in all decisions that affect me is my right. This is their responsibility.

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Golden Rule 2: A chance to be involved

I may need extra help, and I should be given this.

Use activities that are fun and creative and suit my abilities and interests.

Always treat me fairly and don’t judge me.

Make me welcome, while also thinking about my age, ethnicity, ability, language, culture, religion,where I live, and anything else that is important.

I am different, we are all different. Recognise and celebrate this.

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Golden Rule 3: Remember, it’s my choice

Give me the chance to take part in a way that is right for me, not you.

Remember that it is my choice to participate.

I may choose not to take part, make sure that it is okay for me to do this at any point that I want or need to.

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Golden Rule 4: Value me

Involve me right from the start.

Remember that I should be able to say what I think about things in my day to day life, as well as bigger things in my school, community and country.

Show me that you are listening to me, and are taking me seriously.

If I take part, please use what I tell you to help you make decisions.

Make sure that you use the things I have said to make my life better and change the things that need to be changed. If you do not use the things that I have said to make changes, please explain to me why not. Tell me how important my voice is. Don’t ignore me because it is too hard for you to hear what I have to say.

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Golden Rule 5: Support me

Think carefully about how to communicate with me in away that I will understand, and don’t give up until I do.

Check with me that I understand, and don’t assume that I do.

Remember that I might need somebody to speak with me, or for me, at times.

Give me a chance to ask questions.

Answer me honestly.

Support me to say what I think in ways that suit me best.

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Golden Rule 6: Work together

I can learn from you, you can learn from me, we can learn from each other.

It is important that we respect each other.

Check that what you think I said is what I actually said.

Respect that we will sometimes disagree, and make time where it is okay to talk about this.

Be honest with me about what difference my voice will make, and be clear about what is possible.

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Golden Rule 7: Keep in touch

Explain to me what decisions or changes have been made, or not made, and why.

Give me a chance to ask you questions about this.

Agree with me how we will keep in touch about what is happening.

Tell me how to contact you if I want or need to.

Tell me what you will do next.

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