Participating and Consulting with Children and Young People
Children and young people have a right to be involved in all decisions that affect their lives (Article 12, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).
In Bath and North East Somerset we are committed to children and young people to making a real difference to how services work for them now and in the future.
This is our promise to children and young people:
Wherever possible, we will ask you about the services you use like schools, youth services and health services.
- We will find lots of fun, interesting and different ways for you to have you say
- We will listen to what you tell us
- We will tell you how your views have made a difference
- When we can’t do something you have suggested, we will explain why as soon as we can
- We will make the information and language we use easy to understand
Our Participation Strategy 2016-2020 outlines how we will achieve these aims.
Bath and North East Somerset School Parliaments
Parliament - from Middle English, a meeting about national concerns, from old French parlement, from parler to talk.
Young (Secondary) Parliament is held in February and Primary Parliament is held in June each year. The day is structured to include speakers and activity based workshops in the morning and group presentations from the workshops during the afternoon.
The 2017 theme for both Primary and Secondary Parliaments was to explore how getting involved in an activity or project can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.
Click on the 2017 Parliament reports on the right.
The theme for the B&NES Primary and Young Parliaments for 2018 will be to explore Health Equalities.
Run by local young people’s charity Off the Record, the Senior in Care Council (SICC) is a group of young people aged 11-18 who are looked after in foster care in Bath and North East Somerset. They work to guide and influence the development and delivery of services to all young people in care across B&NES. They meet regularly with professionals and decision-makers to share their views and experiences.
The young people recently worked closely with Somer Valley FM to create 2 x 10 minute Podcasts
The young people share personal experiences and explain: what it’s like to be a young person in foster care; who the different professionals are in their lives; the difference between adoption and foster care; what an In Care Council is and what the group members get out of it. The young people were involved in every aspect of making the podcasts; from concept through to choosing the music and editing the final content
Members of the Senior In Care Council, SPACE LGBTQ+ group and the B&NES Youth Forum recently worked with ITV’s Fixer’s project to produce this short film on Gender Equality. The film was shown on ITV West in Feb 2016.
Commissioning Framework (see link under documents).
In Bath & North East Somerset we adhere to the following principles of involving young people in commissioning:
Understanding - assess need; identify young service user's priorites
Planning - specification drawn up in consultation with young service users
Securing - young people are involved in procurement
Delivering and reviewing - young people are involved in monitoring and evaluation
Our Commissioning Framework provides guidance on how to involve children and young people in the commissioning of services.
In Bath & North East Somerset, we are able to work with young people who have a range of different experiences, whether as exciting users or potential users of any new service that is being commissioned.
Toolkit for Engaging CYP in the Recruitment Process (see link under documents).
A key priority of the B&NES strategy is to embed the principle and practice of involving young people in the staff recruitment process. There are already many examples of this co-production happening across the authority, which means our services are becoming more responsive to the needs of children and young people, resulting in a better quality and more efficient service.
This toolkit has been developed by the Regional Youth Work Unit in partnership with Social Care staff and the Strategic Commissioning Officer in the People and Communities Department. The toolkit contains simple activities that you can use with children and young people to help them understand the recruitment process in the council and take part in all or some of the process.
A guide to the Local Safeguarding Children Board has been written with input from the Young People who sit on the LSCB Communications Sub Group (see link under documents).