Listening to Children, Young People and Families

The Participation Strategy

The Participation Strategy provides a framework for the participation of children, young people and families in decision-making on issues which affect them. Listening to and acting on the views of children, young people and families is essential for the development of effective services.

Impact- What is Required?

Children’s Services teams and commissioned services and providers are expected to

  1. understand the importance of service user involvement and feedback and
  2. demonstrate a commitment to the Strategy.

There is the expectation that teams and commissioned services complete a simple annual participation audit (found in the Strategy) to reflect on current practice which may in turn develop future engagement. In addition, Children’s Services teams should submit evidence of ‘You Said, We Did’ showing impact on services to the Stakeholder Engagement Group (SEG). Commissioned services are expected to evidence this through the Joint Evaluation Toolkit (JET).

Strategy Overview:

Provides a common understanding of participation
Says why participation is a vital part of everyday practice
Describes the benefits of participation for service users and LCC
Sets out common standards
Describes different models of engagement
Provides simple ways of recording and auditing participation practice
Says how the Participation Team can help teams develop their practice
Says what the Participation Team plan to do by October 2020

For support and advice on participation practice contact:

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) is a safeguard for children that requires governments to look at how children are treated, kept safe from harm and the role they have in society as citizens in their own right. The Participation Strategy has the UNCRC at its heart.

There are 54 articles in total. Article 12 states children should have a say in decisions that affect them; a contribution to the discussion and some influence in decisions according to their age and maturity. This is the key article for organisations to include meaningful dialogue with young service users and learn and change things based on what they tell us.

Rights and responsibilities are fundamental for children to develop, learn and grow in a healthy way. All organisations are required to play their part in this process. A children’s rights approach helps ensure children’s views are heard and that they inform decisions that lead to improvements in the services they receive.


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Last updated: 23 November 2017

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