Helping to keep children and young people safe in Derby and Derbyshire
Participation is a process where children and young people are listened to and able to influence decisions about their lives which brings about change. This is important in all aspects of a child’s life at home, in their community and at school and is key part of everyone’s safeguarding roles and responsibilities.
Anyone working with children and their families should see and speak to the child, listen to what they have to say, take their views seriously and work with them when deciding how to support their needs. Children’s participation is key to improving outcomes for children.
This child centred approach is supported internationally by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as by national legislation and guidance. In the UK children have told us they need:
See Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) page 10
The Children and Young People Participation Process outlines the ways in which children and young people should participate in child protection conferences. This includes the completion of a Consultation Form - My Wishes and Feelings.
A person called an advocate can help children and young people speak up for themselves at Child Protection Conferences.
Professionals or young people can ask for an advocate by ringing their freephone number 08000286977 or texting 07717740557.
Advocates can help in a number of different ways:
They can help a child or young person to prepare for the meeting and to write something down if that is what they want.
There are a couple of leaflets that children and young people might find useful:
Derby’s Children in Care Council is a group open to children and young people of Derby who are looked after by Derby City Council aged between 10 and 21 and live in and around Derby.
They meet on the first Wednesday of each month at the College Business Centre, Uttoxeter New Road at 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
The Children in Care Council:
More details of the work of the Children in Care Council are available
My world triangle - a helpful tool to support practitioners develop a child focused assessment of needs and strengths
The Voice of the Child in the child protection system (2012) NCB Research Centre
Children's participation in decision-making: a children's views report (2014) Children’s Commissioner
The Children’s Commissioner has also published three reports about Helping children get the care experience they need: Independent advocacy for children and young people in care