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The post of Children’s Commissioner was created following a recommendation made by Lord Laming in the Victoria Climbie Inquiry. The role was initially established under the Children Act 2004 which gave the Commissioner responsibility for promoting awareness of the views and interests of children. The Commissioner’s statutory remit includes understanding what children and young people think about things that affect them and encouraging decision makers to always take their best interests into account. Her unique data gathering powers and powers of entry to talk with children and gain evidence, enable her to help bring about long-term change and improvements for children, particularly the most vulnerable.

The Children and Families Act 2014 further strengthened the remit, powers and independence of the Commissioner, and gave her special responsibility for the rights of children who are in or leaving care, living away from home or receiving social care services. She also speaks for wider groups of children on non-devolved issues including immigration (for the whole of the UK) and youth justice (for England and Wales).

As well as a team of staff, the Commissioner is supported by an advisory group, an audit and risk committee and children’s groups, stakeholders, and specialists.

The Children’s Commissioner’s office is formed to deliver for children. The office spans policy, research, communications, public service innovation and Help at Hand. The Help at Hand service is for children in care, leaving care, living away from home or working with children’s services to offer free support, advice, and information. Alongside this, In My Opinion (IMO) is a voice for teenagers in care and for care leavers to share their experiences and stories.

Resources from the archive

  • Pass the parcel: children posted around the care system

    24 December 2019

    “I feel like a parcel getting moved around all the time, getting opened up and sent back and moved on to somewhere else.” Teenage girl, in care over 100 miles from home There are over 30,000 looked after children living ‘out of area’ in England. This is 41% of all children in care and has […]

    Teenager walking with backpack
  • UK Children’s Commissioners’ UNCRC mid-term review

    5 November 2019

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark agreement by governments around the world on the rights of children. As Children’s Commissioners it is central to our mission to make sure that those rights are made a reality for all children. The United Nations […]

  • EU children in Britain

    29 October 2019

    This page was published in 2019 and may contain out of date information.  Know your rights to stay in Britain If you are an EU citizen living in Britain, Brexit will affect your rights. This means you will need to apply for what the Government calls ‘settled status’ in Britain. What is settled status? Settled […]

    Union flag and EU flag
  • Children’s insights

    This is the first issue in our regular series of insights into the views and experiences of children in England.

  • Gaming the system

    22 October 2019

    The overwhelming majority of children (93 percent) in the UK play video games. Yet despite its popularity, the culture of ‘gaming’- its rules and its rituals, the varying profiles of players, the risks they face – tends to be spoken of by adults, whether they be policymakers or parents, as if it were an alien […]

    Children playing video games
  • A Manifesto for Children

    7 September 2019

    The manifesto, published ahead of any upcoming General Election, calls on Britain’s political parties to include a six-point plan in their election manifestos to transform the life chances for disadvantaged children and to help all of England’s 12 million children to thrive. The manifesto sets out some of the key issues that children have told […]

    Group of children
  • Bleak houses

    21 August 2019

    Tackling the crisis of family homelessness in England

  • Stability Index 2019

    1 August 2019

    The Stability Index is an annual measure of the stability of the lives of children in care. It was first launched by the Children’s Commissioner in 2017 to shine a light on the issue of stability, provide data that allows stability to be monitored over time, and ultimately drive improvements in stability for children in […]

  • Children’s Voices: Children’s experiences of instability in the care system

    ‘Children’s Voices: Children’s experiences of instability in the care system’ is published alongside the Children’s Commissioner’s third annual Stability Index, which measures stability in the care system by looking at how often children in care move home, school or social worker over a year. In addition to this data analysis, the Children’s Commissioner’s Office also […]