Some of the sorts of things we are asked about are:
- I want to have a say about contact with the parent that I do not live with...
- I want to live with my other parent....
- I am being bullied at school and I am not happy with what the school are doing about it...
- I am going to a Children's Hearing and I do not understand what is going on....
- I am pregnant and I do not know what my rights are.....
- I have a Saturday job and my employer says he wants to pay me less...
- The police want to question me about something that they say I did...
- I want to change my name...
- I am in care and I do not agree with what the social worker thinks should happen to me....
We can help you with all these questions and more. To ask us a question, call 0800 328 8970 or fill in our contact form.
Here are some of the questions we have answered for young people who have called us. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. We will keep adding to these questions so you can hear the latest.
The advice questions are all below. You can scroll through them, or to go directly to a particular question, choose one from this list.
- Who are my natural parents?
- I don't want to see my dad
- Do I have to wear a uniform to school?
- Can I get a job?
- I'm being bullied
- I want to see my brothers and sisters
Q. Who are my natural parents?
John called us to ask advice about his parents. He is adopted and wants to trace his natural father.
A. The Salvation Army offers a service which helps young people who have been adopted to trace their natural parents. They offer this service to people aged 16 or over, or to young people who have a letter of consent from their adoptive parents. As John is already 16, we advised him to contact the Salvation Army for help. You can visit the Salvation Army website at www.salvationarmy.org.uk or call them on 0845 634 0101.
Q. I don't want to see my dad
Carl aged 14, called us to talk to us about his dad. Carl lives with his mum now and doesn't see his dad at all. He is really frightened of his dad and doesn't want to see him. Recently, Carl's dad has been calling his house and turning up at his school.
A. We advised Carl that he should see a solicitor and ask for an interdict, which is a court order which says that his dad would not be able to come near him.
Q. Do I have to wear a uniform to school?
Polly emailed us with a question about the new uniform that his school wanted the pupils to wear. The pupils were opposed to the new uniform, and set up a website so that they could all get information about the uniform and talk about it. The school blocked access to the website so that the pupils could not visit it from any school computer.
A. We advised Polly that if he was at an independent school then he and the other pupils would have to wear the new uniform, as this is part of the contract with the school. If he was at a local authority school, the school could recommend a uniform but could not force the pupils to wear it. We advised that the school could restrict access to certain websites from school computers, but that pupils could visit the website from outside of school, for example from home or from the library.
Q. Can I get a job?
Sarah aged 15, had been offered a job in a local burger bar that included working in her school lunch hour. She wanted to know if she was allowed to take this job.
A. We advised her that there were lots of rules about young people working, and that she could not have a job where she had to work during school hours.
Q. I'm being bullied
Lorna called us to talk about her daughter, aged 14, who was being bullied in school. Lorna and her daughter had spoken to the school and the education department, but the school weren't doing the things they said they would do to stop the bullying. For example, the school had said that they would make sure the bullies were not sitting near her daughter in classes, but they still were.
A. We advised Lorna that she could ask to see the school's anti-bullying policy. This is a document which all schools should have which says what the school will do if somebody is being bullied. If Lorna thought the school wasn't following their policy, then she should tell the school and the education department and they should take action.
Q. I want to see my brothers and sisters
Aaron called us about a young person aged 15 who no longer lived with his mum and dad. Even though he didn't live in the family home, he still wanted to see his brothers and sisters.
A. We advised that the young person had the right to see a solicitor about this, the right to apply for legal aid, and the right to go to court if necessary.
We will keep adding new advice calls here, so keep coming back!
The Scottish Child Law Centre seeks to ensure that the information published on its website is up to date and accurate. However, the information on the website does not constitute legal or professional advice and the Scottish Child Law Centre cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use. The Scottish Child Law Centre cannot be held responsible for the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.
Any personal data collected through this website will be treated as confidential in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.