The Highland Child Protection Committee, Keeping Children Safe and Care and Learning Alliance are delighted to be launching the ‘Consulting with our Youngest Children Toolkit’.
As part of Scotland’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) every child in Scotland has the right to have their views heard and taken into account in decisions affecting them (Article 12) and to be protected from harm (Article 19).
Consultation with young children is more than just asking their views, it is about really listening to and responding to them. It’s also about facilitating their ability to influence things that affect them and help adults to know and understand their concerns or worries through the child’s eyes enabling adults to help protect them from harm.
Consultation with children under 5 years of age can be a little challenging! However, it’s vital we take time to enable children to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings in ways best suited to their age and stage to ensure that we keep the child at the centre of all that we do.
We know that children need to feel secure, confident and familiar with their physical and psychological environments. Having a consistent approach to consulting with young children is more likely to help us gain a true understanding of the child’s world enabling us to plan to meet their needs effectively.
The strategies in this tool can be used by adults working on an individual basis with a young child for a specific purpose or by adults who have significant contact with young children on a frequent basis embedding meaningful consultation in daily practice.
This tool will support you to engage in a fun playful way to enable young children to:
- share their ideas and make choices
- share their thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes and worries
- recognise their views matter
- know they are listened to
- support their sense of belonging
- develop confidence and self-worth
- develop their communication skills
The tool is ‘free’ to everyone and is available from our Care and Learning Alliance Website, Highland Child Protection Website and Keeping Children Safe websites.
An e-book guidance document is also available to support implementation and for those seeking some further guidance on using the toolkit.
For further ideas and resources for consulting and keeping children safe visit: