Every child and young person has the right to be, and feel, safe and protected from any avoidable situation or acts of commission or omission by others that might affect their wellbeing.
Being safe is also about having a positive state of mind. Children and young people should be helped to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them keep themselves safe in situations at home, at school or in the community. Being safe means that children and young people feel secure and protected within trusted relationships where adults are not only acting in their best interests but also listening to them and taking account of their views, preferences and feelings.
Every child and young person has the right to the health care and support that will help them to fulfil their developmental potential and be in the best state of physical and mental health possible.
Where a child's or young person’s health is impaired by long-term or permanent disabilities or chronic conditions then they have the right to appropriate treatment, care, education, training and practical support to help them manage their condition, be empowered to make decisions for themselves and participate fully and effectively at home, in school and in the community.
Every child and young person has a right to support to help them progress and develop the skills, ambition and know how that will help create a positive future for them. This means being engaged and motivated to attend and actively participate in their learning, and to develop knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes needed to succeed.
In the early years of a child’s life this means being supported at home and in early learning and child care to meet or exceed the appropriate developmental milestones and be ready for primary school. For those with additional support needs and with special talents and abilities it means having the opportunities and support to maximise their potential.
Every child and young person has the right to fulfil their potential. This is at the heart of both GIRFEC and Curriculum for Excellence.
Every child has the right to thrive and develop into a safe, healthy, happy, well-adjusted child, young person and, ultimately, an independent, respected and responsible adult. This means children and young people having the right support, care and environment around them while growing up.
Being active is not just about ‘doing’, although very important; it is about children and young people having access to and being encouraged to take up opportunities to explore their home and community, to play with others and express themselves in a variety of different ways. It is also about developing new skills, learning how to assess and manage risks, and act responsibly and cooperatively within teams and groups.
Ultimately, activity and play is essential to a child’s or young person’s sense of subjective wellbeing: the positive feelings about themselves that come from having fun. Being active has an important role to play in developing other areas of the wellbeing: a sense of inclusion and belonging, physical and emotional health, sense of achievement from facing new challenges and developing new skills, self-respect and sense of responsibility, and being in a safe environment to be active and be encouraged.
Respect and being respected is vital to children’s and young people’s wellbeing, to their sense of self-worth and belonging; feeling loved and cared for and trusted by their friends and parents or carers, and not feeling stigmatised, discriminated against or demeaned.
The child who is treated with respect is also more likely to be safer, emotionally and physically healthier, happier, more nurtured, more likely to feel and be included, more likely to achieve and more likely to respect themselves and others and behave in a considerate and responsible way.
Responsibility and being responsible is an important feature to growing up and becoming responsible citizens, with respect for others and a commitment to participate responsibly within their schools and communities. Responsibility encompasses a diversity of behaviours, values and ways of thinking and feelings.
The level of responsibility a child or young person should experience, and be helped to experience, will change as they grow and develop; as they learn what is and is not appropriate behaviour in various circumstances. It leads to a greater emphasis on their understanding of their emotions and behaviour and the impact that these have on others.
Inclusion and being included means children and young people having the opportunity, and being encouraged, to play an active part in the communities in which they live and learn.
It also means getting help and guidance to overcome any inequalities to ensure that every child or young person can take up the opportunities available to them.