Ensuring young people have a voice in Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute Council is committed to ensuring that the rights of children and their families continue to be heard.

At a meeting of today’s Community Services Committee, members heard about the work already carried out by the council over the last three years to give children and young people a voice, and its plans to expand this.

During the last three years, Argyll and Bute Council has:

  • Sought and listened to the voices of children and young people;
  • Consulted with children and young people on policies and strategies relevant to their lives: education, health, social care, housing, environment and leisure;
  • Carried out Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments (CRWIAs) to ensure children’s rights are a key consideration in policy and strategic planning;
  • Were guided in all work with and for children and young people by GIRFEC Wellbeing Indicators and the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

    These actions have been a great success, but the local authority wants to build on this and the Argyll and Bute Children’s Rights Report 2020 – 2023 has been developed as a result.

    This report focuses on:

  • Ensuring CRWIAs are consistent and rigorous;
  • Ensuring children’s voices are central to the development of services;
  • Implementing highly effective multi-agency working for maximum impact on children’s lives;
  • Further support children with a parent in custody;
  • Increased focus on and teaching of children’s and human rights in the curriculum, and further advance the Rights Respecting School Award programme;
  • Further develop the Automated Benefits approach (for example, in relation to free school meals and school clothing grants);
  • Maximise access to Argyll and Bute’s facilities and amenities which promote and encourage wellbeing.

The report will be taken forward within the Northern Alliance Regional Improvement Collaborative and at local authority level.

Argyll and Bute’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “All children deserve to have a positive childhood, and experience life to the fullest, and we are committed to achieving this for every young person in Argyll and Bute.

“There is clear evidence that a rights-based approach to education has positive outcomes for young people. Not only does it improve their well-being and self-esteem, it increases empathy and understanding among pupils and leads to better behaviour in class.

 “We are dedicated to helping our young people to flourish, to realise their full potential, and ensure they are aware of their rights, and we will continue to work hard to make sure we achieve this.”

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