Childrens Rights Careers
Children’s Rights Careers in Wales and Beyond
A career in Children’s Rights is an area that many wish to pursue but aren’t sure how to achieve or go about doing so. Below is a list of possible career paths surrounding Children’s Rights that you may wish to consider.
A solicitor is a qualified legal practitioner responsible for representing and/or defending client’s legal interests. Sometimes it’s children who are the ones who need protecting and there are numerous different areas of the law that you could practice within. Examples of which are below;
(i) Family Law
Family solicitors are expert professionals who deal with the law surrounding family matters, such as parental rights, adoption, care proceedings, and any other matters affecting children within the family home.
(ii) Public Law
Different to the above, it is possible to practice in areas such as public law, in matters concerning children. Public Law solicitors would deal with matters concerning judicial review, human rights, education etc. For example, school closures; exclusions; transport to school; ALN provision etc.
(iii)‘Children’s Rights’ Solicitor
Although a career as a ‘Children’s Rights Solicitor’ specifically is not as commons as the above, there are opportunities out there. A great example is the Justice First Fellowship, run by the Legal Education Foundation, who employ a number of individuals each year to become social justice solicitors. This centres specifically on human rights.
- Advice / Information Third Sector Projects
If a career as a solicitor is not for you, there are numerous other career paths that focus on helping children One of these is a career within a third sector advice and/or information service such as;
These services provide information, advice and support for parents, children and young people who have, or may be facing, difficulties in any way. This can be with additional learning needs, their mental health, their sexual orientation, gender, bullying etc.
Within these services you could provide support such as helpline advice and support, specialist casework, discrimination advice and casework, advocacy, disagreement resolution and so forth.
- NGO (UK and internationally)
Working within a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is another option for those seeking to make a difference or help others, however, it is not an easy industry to secure a role in it is very competitive.
Working for an NGO is an opportunity to make a difference, support others in need and create a positive change within communities over the world or domestically. Examples of NGOs include;
- Save the Children
- Advocacy provides – TGP Cymru / NYAS
- Domestic Abuse Charities
- Refugee Charities
NGOs operate just like any other business, thus meaning they have people working within fundraising, operations, management, accounting etc. Therefore, there are numerous different roles within an NGO that you could seek to work within.
If you enjoy learning about law and politics, but don’t see yourself as a solicitor a career in policy and governance might be for you. Working within this industry would mean you would ensure compliance with laws and regulations, give guidance for decision-making, and streamline internal processes. In Wales, organisations which have roles within policy and governance include;
- Children’s Commissioner for Wales
- Local Government Advisor
- Welsh Government Advisor
An example of work you might conduct within this role may be consultation responses. If you were to work for the policy team at the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’s office, you may be asked to respond to Welsh Governments proposal to end food poverty for example. Within this, you would be expected to respond with feedback, criticisms, recommendations etc as to how this may effect children and would be expected to include all relevant laws and regulations.
- Youth work
Youth work is a distinct educational process, which is different across a variety of setting, with the aim of supporting a young person’s personal, social and education development. They do this to:
- Explore their values, beliefs, ideas and issues;
- To enable them to develop their voice, influence and place in society; and
- To acquire a set of practical or technical skills and competencies, to realise their full potential
Youth work takes place in a wide range of settings, such as youth clubs and youth centres, organisations, outreach projects, action groups etc. Therefore, as a youth worker you would organise and run community programmes aimed at young people.
Through those programmes you’ll help them achieve the 3 above broad principles.
If you enjoy learning, writing and discussing Children’s Rights, you may want to consider a role as an academic. This would mean researching this area of law, with the hopes of influencing policy changes etc, and possibly lecturing at a University.
However, it is important to note that becoming an academic takes a lot of time and dedication as it is common to study a PhD first.