0-18 years guidance: Appendix 1

Who are children and young people?

Children and young people are a diverse group with many different needs.

This guidance is concerned with children and young people from birth until their 18th birthday.

References to ‘children’ usually mean younger children who lack the maturity and understanding to make important decisions for themselves.

Older or more experienced children who can make these decisions are referred to as 'young people'.

At 16 it is legally presumed that young people have the ability to make decisions about their own care.