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glossary image
AJAX progress indicator
  • 11+ Exam
    An exam you can take before leaving primary school in order to get into a grammar secondary school
  • Abduction
    When a person takes or sends you outside of England or Wales without the permission of those with Parental Responsibility for you
  • Abroad
    Out of the country
  • Absent
    Being away from where you are meant to be - for example, being away from school
  • Abuse
    To cause someone harm
  • Academic Year
    The school year from September to July
  • Academy
    A type of school which gives free education, and which has more independence than most secondary schools
  • Accommodated Children
    This is when you are looked after by the Local Authority under section 20 of the Children Act 1989
  • Accommodation
  • Accused
    When people think you have done something, for example you can be accused of a crime
  • ADHD
    Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is a condition that makes it very hard for people to concentrate
  • Adopt
    Legally become the parent of and adult responsible for a child
  • Adoption
    A legal process where you become a permanent and full member of a new family. Your birth parents lose Parental Responsibility and your new parents get Parental Responsibility for you
  • Adoption Contact Register
    A register you can use to either find your birth family or ask for no contact with your birth family
  • Advice
    Help deciding what to do
  • Advocate
    A professional who can help you express your wishes and feelings to Children's Services and make sure you are fairly treated. They can go to meetings on your behalf, give you information and help you make a complaint
  • Agreement
    When people have the same opinion
  • Alcohol
    The part of drinks like wine, beer or spirits which is a legal drug but can be dangerous
  • Anonymously
    Without anyone knowing who you are
  • Anti-social
    Behaviour that is unacceptable
  • Appeal
    Appealing a decision means asking for it to be looked at again. You can appeal if you think that the decision has been made incorrectly
  • Apprenticeship
    A way of learning through work - for example, you can do an apprenticeship to be a plumber or hairdresser, where you work and study at the same time. You will be paid a small amount for your work
  • Appropriate Adult
    A person over 18 who will support you if you are at the police station or are being interviewed by the police. They must be there by law if you are interviewed, searched, fingerprinted, photographed, giving DNA or being tested for drugs
  • Arrangements
    Plan or agreement
  • Arrest
    Where a police officer uses the law to take you into custody, usually to a police station because they believe you have been involved in crime or were about to be involved in a crime. A police officer may use force to put you under arrest
  • Assessment
    Looking at someone or something and deciding what happens to them and what they need
  • Assistance
    Help or support
  • Assistant
    Someone whose job it is to help or assist
  • Asylum
    Safe place
  • Asylum Seeker
    Someone who needs protection from bad treatment
  • Attendance register
    A list of names at school so the teacher knows who's there and who isn't
  • Authorised
    An agreement has been made for this to happen
  • Autism
    A mental health condition where the person can struggle to communicate and form relationships with others
  • Bail
    If you are arrested or charged with a crime you may be allowed to leave the police station on bail. You will have to return to court on a particular day and may have certain things you can and cannot do. If you do not stick to the bail conditions you may be arrested again
  • Barrister
    A legal professional who represents you in court
  • Best interests
    What is decided is the best thing for you
  • Biological parents
    Birth parents
  • Biometric Resident Permit
    An official document giving you permission to stay in the UK
  • Birth Records
    An official document giving details of your birth
  • Bullying
    Behaviour intended to upset someone else, it can be violence, teasing, threats and sending nasty messages online
  • Burglary
  • Bursary
    When someone else pays for your education fees and you do not have to pay them back
    CAFCASS is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service who might talk to you if there is a case in the Family court about you. They have to check that you are safe and can write a report to the court about what they believe is in your best interests
  • Caffeine
    A drug contained in tea or coffee which can keep you awake
    CAMHS is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, which is part of the NHS. CAMHS can support you if, for example, you feel anxious, have trouble talking or sleeping, have problems eating, find it hard to concentrate and many other things
  • Cannabis
    An illegal drug, also known as hash, skunk, weed, pot, marijuana, grass, dope and ganja
  • Care Order
    If you are at risk of significant harm and your parents cannot meet your needs, Children's Services can apply for a Care Order to get Parental Responsibility for you and place you somewhere safe
  • Care System
    If you are looked after by Children's Services, with the agreement of your parents or under a care order, then you will be in the care system
  • Carer
    A person who looks after you who is not your parent or guardian
  • Charge
    To be charged is to be formally accused of a crime by the police
  • Charge Sheet
    This tells you exactly what crime you have been charged with
  • Child Arrangements Order
    An order from the court which says who you will live with, and who you have contact with. For example, this could tell you which parent you live with and when you spend time with your other parent
  • Child Assessment Order
    An order from the court allowing a social worker to have you medically assessed. You can refuse if you fully understand the situation
  • Child in Need
    If you are disabled or need support for your health or development the Local Authority can provide services and support to you and your family as a child in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989
  • Child Maintenance
    Money to help with your living costs paid by the parent you do not live with
  • Child Protection Plan
    If Children's Services think you are at risk they might put a Child Protection Plan in place which says things your parents or carers need to do to keep you safe
  • Child Safety Order
    An order from the court if you have committed a crime under the age of 10. It places you under the supervision of a social worker or member of the Youth Offending Team
  • Children's Guardian
    A professional from CAFCASS who might talk to you if your parents go to court to find out what you want to happen. The Guardian will speak to the court on your behalf
  • Children's Services
    A department of the Local Authority who must identify and protect children at risk of harm, provide support to children in need and are responsible for children in care. Used to be known as Social Services
  • Civil partnership
    A relationship between same sex couples which is recognised in law. It is very similar to marriage
  • Clerk of Court
    A person who works for the court to make sure it runs smoothly
  • Cocaine
    A very addictive class A illegal drug which is usually in the form of a white powder
  • Code of Practice
    The rules that the police must follow when you are arrested and taken to the police station. You will be allowed to see this
  • Commit
    To carry out
  • Community Care Solicitor
    A legal professional who specialises in matters involving Children's Services. They can help you if you are homeless and under 18, in care or leaving care
  • Community Service
    A form of punishment instead of going to prison. Community service usually means doing things for your community like picking up litter
  • Compensation
    Something given when someone has done something wrong to make up for it; this could be money
  • Complaint
    Telling the people involved that you think they did something wrong
  • Confidential
    Kept private or secret
  • Confiscate
    Take away, for example a teacher can confiscate your phone until the end of the lesson
  • Conflict
    Disagreement, different opinions, a clash
  • Connected person
    A connected person may be your relative or friend or someone else you know, such as a teacher, a babysitter or a neighbour
  • Consent
    Giving permission
  • Contact Centre
    An official place where you can spend time with one or both parents and sometimes other family members. It may be supervised
  • Contact Order
    An order from the court which says who you have contact with, for example when you spend time with the parent you do not live with
  • Contraception
    Something which prevents the risk of getting pregnant. This is usually either a condom, a pill, an implant, injection or a coil
  • Convicted
    Found guilty of a crime
  • Counselling
    Going to see a counsellor to talk about any problems you are having
  • Counsellor
    A professional who listens to you and talks through any problems you might have
  • Court Order
    Legally binding decision made by the court
  • Crime
    Something which is against the law
  • Criminal Offence
    Something which is against the law
  • Criminal Record
    If you have a criminal record it means you have committed a crime. Some things will not go on your criminal record as a young person
  • Criminal Responsibility
    When you can be arrested or charged with a crime, the age of criminal responsibility is 10
  • Crown Court
    The court that deals with the most serious criminal cases
  • Custody
    Being held in a place, for example if the police take you to the station you are being taken into custody
  • Custody Sergeant/officer
    The person in charge of your care and welfare if you have been arrested and taken to the police station
  • Deed Poll
    A legal document that changes your name
  • Defence
    If you've been accused of a crime the person who is arguing for your side is the defence, and they are defending you.
  • Defendant
    The person accused of a crime in a criminal case
  • Degrading
    Something causing a loss of self respect or humiliation
  • Deputy Head teacher
    The teacher who is in charge of the school when the head teacher is not there, the second in command
  • Designated teacher
    A senior teacher in your school whose job is to take care of all looked after children in the school
  • Detained
    Being held in a place which limits your freedom for example in a police station or secure accommodation
  • Development
    How you grow or change
  • Dignity
    Respect for who you are and protection from humiliation and embarrassment
  • Disability
    Having a physical or mental condition which makes it difficult to do day to day things
  • Disability Discrimination
    Being treated differently because of a disability
  • Discretionary Leave to Remain
    A status allowing you to stay in the country because no one in you country can look after you. Since April 2013 this is known as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child leave
  • Discrimination
    Being treated differently because of your race, gender, sex, age, religion or disability
  • Distressed
    Worried, scared, nervous, very uneasy
  • Domestic Violence
    Abuse in the home between partners or family members. This can be physical violence, sexual abuse or being very controlling over someone's life and their money
  • Duty
    If someone has a duty to do something it means they have to do it
  • Duty Solicitor
    A legal professional at court who will advise you on the law for free if you do not have your own solicitor
  • Dyslexia
    A learning difficulty which makes it hard for you to spell, write or read
  • Ecstasy
    An illegal class A drug
  • Education Health and Care Needs Assessment
    If you have learning difficulties, you might need extra help at school. Your Local Authority can do an assessment to find out what help you need. If you are aged 16-25 you can ask for an assessment yourself, if you are under 16 your school and/or your parents can ask for an assessment
  • Education Health and Care Plan
    If you have learning difficulties, you might need extra help at school. Your Local Authority can write a plan which sets out your Special Educational Needs and outlines what help you need at school. Your school must follow this by law
  • Education Welfare Officer
    A person who works for the local authority to help children who have low attendance and other problems at school
  • Educational Psychologist
    A professional who will work with you if you have learning difficulties to check what help you might need in school. They might write a report to the local authority and your school to make sure you get the help you need
  • Educational Record
    Information your school holds about you, including school reports and your grades. You or your parents can ask for a copy of these to be given to you
  • Electronically Monitored
    If you have committed a crime you might be required to wear a tag which will check that you stick to your curfew
  • Embassy
    An embassy is a point of government for one country that is located inside another, for example if you are abroad you can go to the British Embassy to get help from the government. You can also find many other embassies in England, if you are not from the UK you can go to these for help
  • Emergency Protection Order
    If you are at immediate risk of harm the court can give permission for your Local Authority to investigate. The Local Authority will get Parental Responsibility for you while this order is active
  • Employment
    A job or work that you are paid to do
  • Entitled
    A right to have something
  • Evidence
    If you give evidence in court, you give your account of what happened. Evidence can also mean proof that something happened
  • Excessive
    Too much
  • Excluded
    To be excluded is a form of punishment that the school can use for bad behaviour. You can be excluded for a set number of days or permanently. Also known as being expelled
  • Exclusion
    Exclusion is a form of punishment that the school can use for bad behaviour. You can be excluded for a set number of days or permanently. Also known as expulsion
  • Exploitation
    Taking advantage of someone or treating them unfairly to benefit from their work. For example, if you are forced to do jobs without pay or act in a sexual way, this could be exploitation
  • Externally
    Outside the organisation
  • Family Court Advisor
    If there is a court case about you in the Family Court you might meet a Family Court Adviser. This is a professional from CAFCASS (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). They must tell the Family Court the best course of action for you
  • Family Court Judge
    The person who will make a decision in a court case in the Family Court about you. For example, they might decide which parent you live with, when you spend time with another parent or whether you should live with someone else. They must always make a decision that is in your best interests
  • Family Courts
    A court where all family matters are dealt with
  • Financial
    To do with money
  • First Tier Tribunal
    If you have Special Educational Needs and/or a disability, the First Tier Tribunal can hear appeals about your statement or plan
  • First Time Offender
    You have not been convicted or found guilty of a crime before
  • Forced Marriage
    If you are made to marry against your will
  • Foster
    If you are a child in need and living with a family that is not your own, the people who look after you are your foster family
  • Foster Parent or Foster Carer
    A person who will look after you if you cannot live with your parents. It could be someone you know or someone who works for the local authority. You might live with them for a short period or long-term
  • Freeze
    Temporarily stop from happening
  • General Register Office
    A government body which holds all records of births, deaths and marriages
  • Genitals
    Your private parts
  • Governing body
    A group of people in charge of setting the direction of the school. They can look at school exclusions, decisions about admissions and complaints about the school
  • Grammar School
    Grammar schools can select pupils by their ability. Usually you will have to do the 11+ exam to go to a Grammar school
  • Grooming
    Making friends with a child to later abuse them
  • Guardian Ad Litem
    If there is a court case about you in the Family Court, you may have a Guardian who must find out your views and to go to court and speak on your behalf
  • Harass
    To purposely pester someone
  • Head of Year
    The teacher who is in charge of your year
  • Head Teacher
    The teacher who is in charge of your whole school
  • Health Records
    A document listing details of your physical and mental health - you can ask for a copy of this from your GP
  • Hearing (court)
    A court hearing is where a judge will sit and listen to the arguments of both sides to make a decision
  • Homicide
    Killing someone
  • Honest
    Tell the truth
  • Humanitarian Protection
    You will get humanitarian protection if the UK Government decides you are not a refugee but it wouldn't be safe for you to return to your country
  • Immigration Status
    The kind of permission you have to be here
  • Inappropriate
    Not right for the situation
  • Indefinite leave to remain
    You can stay in the UK forever and there is no time restriction
  • Independent Review Panel
    An independent review panel can look at a permanent exclusion and agree with it, ask for it to be looked at again or disagree with the decision and order that it is looked at again
  • Independent Reviewing Officer
    A person who works for Children's Services and if you are in care must make sure your care plan meets your needs and your wishes are heard
  • Independent visitor
    An independent adult who is not in the care system who can befriend you and provide support
  • Individual Healthcare Plan
    A plan agreed with the school setting out support for your health or medical needs
  • Inhumane
  • Innocent
    You are found not guilty, the court decides that you did not do the crime
  • Intentionally Homeless
    You left housing that you could have stayed in. The Local Authority may refuse to provide you with housing in this situation
  • Internally
    Inside the organisation
  • Intervene
    Get involved
  • Judge
    A person in charge of a court who will make the decisions
  • Jury
    A group of people who will make a decision on whether someone is guilty or not guilty of a crime based on the evidence they see and hear in court
  • Key worker
    If Children's Services are involved with you and your family, you may have a key worker who is in charge of making sure all the services you need are working together
  • Kinship care
    When you go to live with a relative or a family friend because your parents cannot look after you
  • Kinship Carer
    A relative or friend who will look after you if you cannot live with your parents
  • Lawyer
    A professional who practises law, who could be a barrister or a solicitor
  • Learning Programme
    A plan that sets out how you will learn
  • Learning Support Assistants
    A person who helps the teacher in the classroom but is not a qualified teacher
  • Legal Advice
    When a legal professional provides you with your rights and actions that you can take
  • Legal Aid
    Money from the government that will help to pay for a lawyer in your case
  • Legal Representation
    A legal professional who will speak on your behalf
  • Legally Binding
    If something is legally binding it means you have to stick to it and the law will back it up if you don't
  • Linguistic
    To do with language
  • Litigation Friend
    If you are party to a case in the Family court you will be given a litigation friend who will handle the court case on your behalf. The litigation friend must not have their own interest in the case and must always act in your best interests
  • Local Authority
    A government body which makes the rules in the area you live
  • Local Education Authority
    The body responsible for your education within a certain area
  • Local Government Ombudsman
    An independent organisation who can look into complaints about the local authority
  • Looked after child
    You are a 'looked-after' child if you have been provided with care and accommodation by children service's for a period longer than 24 hours under a care order or with the agreement of your parents
  • Magistrate
    A volunteer who sits in a panel of two or three people to decide a case in court
  • Maltreatment
    Treating someone badly
  • Managed Move
    When your school agrees for you to move to a different school for a fresh start
  • Mandatory
    Something that must be done, it is not optional
  • Manipulated
    When someone is controlled or tricked into doing something
  • Manslaughter
    Killing someone without meaning to
  • Maximum
    The longest or largest amount
  • Mediator
    A professional who helps families talk about their differences to try and reach a solution. For example, if your parents disagree who you should live with they might see a mediator to reach agreement
  • Medical Condition
    Illness, allergy, disability or learning difficulty
  • Minimal
    The smallest possible amount
  • Minority
    A group of people who are small in number
  • Murder
    Killing someone and meaning to do it
  • National Insurance Number
    A number given to you by the government which you need in order to work and pay tax and national insurance
  • OCD
    A condition which can make the person feel the need to keep checking things and do certain routines
  • Offence
    Doing something which is against the law
  • On your behalf
    Someone else doing something for you
  • Opportunity
  • Oral
    To do with the mouth
  • Overcrowded
    Where there are more people in a place then allowed
  • Parental responsibility
    Someone who has Parental Responsibility for you can make decisions on your care and upbringing
  • Parenting Plan
    A written or online agreement between your parents saying how they will share the care of you
  • Pathway Plan
    A Pathway Plan will set out the support that you will be given once you have left care. This must be based on the needs assessment carried out. The plan should be prepared before you leave care
  • Permanent
    Something that is not intended to change
  • Personal Advisor
    If you are a care leaver you may have a Personal Advisor who will give you advice and support and organise the services that you need when you leave care. You should have a choice of Personal Advisor
  • Pharmacy
    A shop which sells medicine
  • Physical
    To do with the body
  • Placement Order
    If you are looked after the court can make a placement order allowing the local authority to place you with people who may later adopt you. The local authority and your birth parents will share parental responsibility for you with the people you are living with
  • Police Officer
    A person who has the power to ensure law and order usually wearing uniform
  • Police Records
    Information held by the police about you
  • Police station
    The building where members of the police force work
  • Policy
    A set of ideas or rules of what to do in a particular situation for example an anti-bullying policy will set out how a school deals with bullying
  • Poppers
    A dangerous drug usually found as a liquid in a small bottle
  • Pornography
    A text, image or video that could include pictures of naked people or could show people doing sexual acts
  • Prescriptions
    Medicine as suggested by the doctor
  • Private Fostering
    If you are under the age of 16, (or under 18 if you have a disability) and you live for more than 28 days with someone who is not your guardian or a close relative this will be a private foster arrangement
  • Procedure
    The way something is done
  • Prohibited
    Not allowed, banned
  • Prosecutor
    A lawyer who will bring a criminal case against someone. They usually work for the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Protection
    Look after, defend, protect from harm
  • Provide support
    Give help
  • Psychotherapeutic
    The use of psychological methods to treat emotional and mental disorders
  • Punishments
    The penalty given for committing an offence
  • Pupil Referral Unit
    A centre which provides education for children who cannot go to a school
  • Qualified
    Officially recognised, finished training
  • Rape
    Forcing someone to have sex when they do not want to
  • Ratify
    Agree in writing
  • Reasonable
    Within reason, something that make sense to most people
  • Refugee
    A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape very bad treatment
  • Refugee status
    A person whose claim for asylum has been accepted by the Home Office
  • Registered medical practitioner
    A person who is qualified to give medical advice
  • Reprimand
    A strong warning from the police
  • Residence
    Where and who you live with
  • Residence Order
    An order from the court saying who you live with
  • Reviewed
    Looked at again to see if it needs changing
  • Robbery
    Stealing from someone using force
  • Safeguarding
    Protecting from harm
  • Safeguarding officer
    Person responsible for protecting from harm
  • Sample
    A small part
  • School Nurse
    A person trained to give you medical care in school
  • School Year
    The period you go to school between September and July
  • Search
    Look for
  • Secretary of State for Education
    The person in Government who is responsible for child protection and education matters in England
  • Secure Accommodation
    Children's Services can house you somewhere where your freedom is limited
  • SEN
    If you have a learning difficulty and need extra help with school work you may have special educational needs
    Special Needs Coordinator. The person in your school who will work with you if you have learning difficulties to make sure you are getting the right help in school
  • Sentence
    This tells you how long you will spend in prison or doing community service
  • Shared Residence
    Where you live with more than one parent or carer. You do not need to be spending equal time with each person
  • Social Services
    Now called Children's Services
  • Social Worker
    A person who works for Children's Services who may come to see and talk to you to check that you are safe and healthy and see if you need any support. If you are in care you will have a named Social Worker
  • Solicitor
    A professional who advises you on the law and can take action on your behalf. They can go to court for you
  • Special Guardianship
    Where you live permanently with someone other than your birth parents as ordered by the court. This person is your Special Guardian and will have responsibility for your care and upbringing until the age of 18
  • Special School
    A type of school designed to meet the needs of children who have special educational needs
  • Speech and Language Therapist
    A professional who will work with you if you have difficulties speaking and communicating
  • State School
    State school education is free and funded by the government
  • Statement of Special Educational Needs
    If you have learning difficulties you might need extra help at school. Your Local Authority can write a statement which sets out your Special Educational Needs and outlines what help you need at school. Your school must follow this by law. These have now been replaced with EHCP's
  • Substantial
    A lot
  • Suitable
    Something that is right for the situation
  • Supervised Contact
    Contact that takes place between you and a parent while another person is also there
  • Supervision
    Overseeing something
  • Supervision Order
    If you are at risk of significant harm, a Supervision Order can be made for the Local Authority to advise, assist and befriend you. The Local Authority will not have Parental Responsibility for you
  • Support
  • Surgical
    Relating to a medical operation
  • Teacher
    The person who teaches you in school. You may have one class teacher or different teachers for different subjects
  • Temporary
    For a limited amount of time, not permanent
  • Tenancy
    A contract relating to renting a property
  • Theft
    Stealing something
  • Torture
    Causing someone extreme pain as a punishment or way of getting information
  • Traineeship
    Training to do something
  • Trauma
    A deeply distressing or scary experience it can also mean a physical injury
  • Tribunal
    A type of court
  • Unauthorised
    Not allowed
  • Verbal
  • Verdict
    The decision a court makes
  • Victim
    A person harmed by crime
  • Virtual School Head teacher
    A teacher who works for the local authority to promote the education of all looked after children in their area
  • Volunteering
    Giving your time to help someone for free
  • Vulnerable
    Someone who is at risk of harm
  • Wardship
    Wardship is when the High Court is given legal guardianship over you. If wardship is made you will become a ward of court
  • Welfare
    Health and Happiness
  • Wellbeing
    Whether you are comfortable, healthy or happy
  • Witness
    A person who may give evidence for the defence or prosecution because they saw heard or found something that might be important in a criminal case
  • Young Offender Institution
    A type of prison for people aged 15 to- 21
  • Youth court
    A court for young people
  • Youth Offending Team
    A team of people who work with children to stop them from committing a crime
  • Youth Rehabilitation Order
    A community sentence that can make you to do things such as unpaid work stick to curfews take part in certain activities have drug treatment and other things