Children and Young People’s Participation in Wales… Good Practice 2016
Participation is listening to and collaborating with children and young people as active citizens with an important contribution to make to their schools, communities and nation.
We are clear the participation of children and young people is key in the development and delivery of our legislation, policies and programmes. It is our full intention to continue to ensure children and young people have an active voice in the workings of this Government.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 puts the effective involvement of people and communities at the heart of improving well-being, as well as being one of the five ways of working set out in the Act.
The basis for having a voice is found in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which sets out the right for children and young people to have a say in what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
Core Aim 5
We have adopted the UNCRC as the basis of all our work for children and young people in Wales and the articles of the UNCRC have been summarised in the Seven Core Aims for children and young people. Core Aim 5 requires that all children and young people are listened to, treated with respect and have their race and cultural identity recognised.
National Participation Standards
Children in Wales are funded by Welsh Government to be a centre of excellence for children’s rights and recently they have updated the National Standards for Participation to reflect the rights based ethos that is integral to working with children and young people. The National Participation Standards are a guide on the best and most meaningful ways of listening and responding to the voices of children and young people, in line with Article 12 of the UNCRC.
The Standards have been refreshed by a partnership between Youth Forum workers and Young Wales, informed by consultations with young people.
The Participation Standards identify the key issues that all workers should be aware of when working with children and young people in Wales. The working group that undertook the work, reviewed each of the seven standards and ensured that each one reflected the rights based ethos that is integral to working with children and young people.
The launch of the refreshed standards will be followed up with revised guidance on the kite-marking process and the self-assessment tools, for use in Local Authorities, who have an inspection team. Organisations who work with children and young people will be encouraged to undertake the self assessment process to demonstrate they the meet the Participation Standards in all their work with children and young people.
The Welsh Government provides funding for the Young Wales project, facilitated by Children in Wales, an umbrella organisation for children’s rights.
Young Wales works with existing youth groups, forums and councils to gather the collective voice of children and young people to influence legislation, policies and programmes.
It also uses social media in order to reach children and young people who are marginalised, shy, disadvantaged, unconfident, or secluded, enabling them to also have a voice.
This guide is for anyone who works with or for children and young people including local authorities, schools, national, local and voluntary organisations; who are concerned with children and young people’s policy and provision, families and the community.
For more information please refer to the document below: