Rights based participation

UNCRC report June 2023 -Scotland should prioritise non-discrimination, abuse/neglect/sexual exploitation, children “deprived of family environement”, mental health, asylum seeking and refugee/migrant children.

Should develop/strengthen strategies for community based therapeutic mental health programmes for children of all ages, mental health promotion, screening and early intervention.

Benefits to children are not the point – just a human right, under article 12.

Right of individual child but also of groups of children.

Voice is not enough (2007) – Lundy Model:

  • Space – to form/express views safely
  • Voice – facilitated to express veiws
  • Audience – views should be listened to
  • Influence – views must be acted upon as appropriate

Space – actively created! Not just reactive. And demonstrably safe. Consider the “seldom heard” child eg talking mats.

Voice – silence can be clear in meaning! Mode of expression? And support to understand options, possibilities. Lundy has published European commission guide to creating child-friendly documents

Subjects that are uncomfortable/awkward in particular – how can they be framed in way that can be discussed openly?

Audience – active listening. Relevant decision makers.

Influence – High expectations are good! But transparent about what is possible. Feedback and follow up.

Framework for feedback:

  • What did you agree with?
  • What if anything surprised you and why?
  • Did you disagree with anything? If so, what and why?
  • Has it influenced your views in any way? If so, how?
  • What have you decided?
  • What is happening next and when?

NI government has evaluation checklist and CYP feedback form.

Talking Mats – Margo

Structured visual communication – real or virtual world. Used for 2020 “Can Scotland be Brave?” report

Jones and Welch 2018 – representation (avoiding adult bias), judgement (viewing children as capable of making informed decisions), validity (even if different from adult views), Impact (how acted on)

What we think is “fine” because it’s what we are used to may not be for kids – eg hospitals/clinics.

Who all is in the room? Why are they there?

Beware leading questions

Before training, only 23% felt confident that CYP views were represented, rose to 89% after. Feedback from children was overwhelmingly “just nice to be listened to”.

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