Programme Manager: Paul Maher
Team LeadersSuzanne Taylor, Children's Rights Service; Kate Kennedy, Missing from Home Service

For almost 30 years, we've had a vision of support for children, young people and families in the Rochdale area. We provide specialist help for those who need it most.

Our project first opened as a family centre in 1983, and our work has developed to reflect local and national needs. Our main area of work is the Rochdale Children's Rights Service.

Rochdale Children’s Rights Service

We support young people in care aged 7-19. By providing advocates for the young people, we help make sure their voices are heard by their local authorities and that they have a say in their future.

We are independent from the Rochdale local authority. Our goals are to:

  • Support young people at reviews
  • Help young people talk to their social worker and/or carer about what they want for their future
  • Help young people with any serious issues they may have with their care

Our staff and volunteers

We rely on the work of our independent visitor volunteers. Learn how you can become an independent visitor or phone us at 01706 345600.

An independent visitor can do so much for a young person. Learn more about independent volunteers here.

Refer a young person to our service

If you feel a child should have the opportunity to work with us, please complete the relevant form below.

For practitioners or adults:

Young people can refer themselves for advocacy.

Listen Up Group

Who are we?

We are a group of young people aged 7+ who come together to share our ideas.

What do we do?

The Listen Up Group meets every month to discuss working with The Children's Society to make young people's lives in care better. We are a participation group for children and young people, helping guide the Children's Rights Service in Rochdale. Our ideas and feedback help develop the services provided.

In our group, we learn about children's rights and responsibilites, teamworking and skills. We discuss ideas to make sure our rights are met. From this, we can discuss these rights with our carers and Rochdale Children's Services and how they can help improve things for us. We can get references along with ASDAN awards for learning and skills because of our work. It is a fun group to be a part of and very rewarding to see the change that comes from it. We want our voices heard - we speak out for positive change.

There are opportunities to get involved in other groups, too. Some of our group members are also on the planning team for the Looked After Children Awards, CROA and take part in national conferences.

If you would like to know more about it or come to one of our meetings you can:

If you would like to join our group, please fill out this application form.

The Listen Up Group recently met to produce a piece of artwork that represented our views and feelings. With the support of graphic facilitation experts Deadcatdreaming, the group produced the wonderful piece of art depicted below.

The piece has attracted lots of media and public interest and the Art Board was displayed at the 'Greenbelt' festival in August 2013.

 Rochdale Children's Rights Listen Up Group Art Work Project

To find out more about this piece of work and what it means, read our report.

You can also learn more about our Children's Rights Service by reading our newsletters:

You can also read our last Annual Report.

Help for young people with rights and entitlements

There are agencies that can help children and young people in care and care-leavers, including:

  • The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) offers first-hand experiences along with information on topcs such as health, education, changing placements, keeping in touch, identity and moving towards independence.
  • Children's Rights Director can help young people living away from home. This website can help them learn their rights and ways to be heard.
  • The Who Cares? Trust is a voice for children in care. Everything they do is designed to improve the day to day experience of children and young people in care and leaving care.

Rochdale Missing from Home Service

If you are a young person who is thinking of running away or who has run away or gone missing in the past we can offer you support.  We can also help parents and carers who are worried about a child in this situation.

We provide personalised preventative and targeted support to children and young people who are at risk of and/or have gone missing or run away from home.  We focus on the   ‘push’ factors such as abuse, bullying or family conflict and ‘pull’ factors like grooming in order to quickly and effectively combat the underlying causes of running away and prevent problems escalating.

Young people:

We can give you the space to talk about the things that bother you and help you to get your life back on track and stay safe. If you are a young person who needs help please call or email us with a contact number and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

We are open during office hours and will arrange to meet you.  If you need help at any other time please call or text the Missing People Helpline on 116 000 or email They are free, confidential and open 24 hours a day. You can also call Childline on 0800 11 11.

If you need help immediately, please call the Police on 999 or call the Police on 101 for non-emergencies.


If your child is staying out late, you don’t know where they are and you are worried or if they have been missing from home, we can support you and your child to help get things back on track. Please refer to the contact details in the Young people section above for details of support available out of hours.

Professionals: For one to one targeted support and family support a referral is required.  Please attach the most recent assessment of the child/family (eg Care Plan, CAF, Initial or Core Assessment, CIN or CP Plan) to the referral form.

Young Heritage Detectives

Learn about our research project by young refugees and asylum seekers aged
10-19 years of African and Asian heritage.

'Highly Commended Award'

Young Heritage Detective Project has received ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the Empowerment Awards 2012, under the category of ‘Developing Community Voice’, going up against over 70 other nominations from within the North West region.




94-96 Hill Top Drive
OL11 2RL Kirkholt
United Kingdom
Phone: 0800 072 6383
53° 35' 29.0256" N, 2° 9' 31.0392" W