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:
participation@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Children’s Services Stakeholder Engagement Group (SEG)

Objectives

  • Improved consistency of good practice in regards to participation and engagement feed-back
  • Voice of the child and families effectively influences the improvement of Children’s Services in Lincolnshire
  • Children and young people are engaged in development, evaluation and design in service delivery
  • Effective information sharing and promotion of stakeholder engagement activities findings

Annual Audit (January)
Teams are expected to capture all stakeholder engagement activities and impact and to use feedback effectively to inform and improve service delivery. SEG will send out the audit each year, collect and collate returns, identify key themes, trends etc. to support practice sharing and maximise learning.

‘You Said We Did’ (quarterly returns)
Team reps are asked to facilitate the completion of the template and submit three or four brief examples from their team(s) and returned to: participation@lincolnshire.gov.uk two week before each SEG meeting.

Role of SEG
- Highlight and share good practice demonstrating impact on service development
- Offer support and guidance to teams (including tools and resources to support effective engagement)

Future Developments
We recognise that, whilst we need to initially focus on Children’s Services teams, there are wider LCC and non-LCC services and organisations that also engage children and families. As SEG develops, we will seek to work closer with all partners.

Whilst service users are the primary stakeholder in service delivery, SEG will widen its reach to include the workers and volunteers who provide the services with and on behalf of children and families. Feedback and evaluation from staff is also essential in developing and improving services.

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.

Resources

Here are some websites and further reading that supports your work.

 

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Last updated: 13 December 2017

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