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Consultations with children, young people and parents regarding local services and initiatives for children and young people

Research Staff

Prof. Sheila Greene, Ms. Liz Kerrins, Ms. Sinead Shannon

About the Project

The OCO is statutorily charged with encouraging public bodies to develop policies, practices and procedures to protect the rights and welfare of children. As part of this responsibility, and in recognition of the role of local organisations in shaping the physical, social and cultural environments within which children, young people and their families live their lives, the OCO developed an Awards Scheme to recognise and support in a positive way the work of local organisations that promotes and protects children's rights and thus improves their lives.

Underpinning this consultation is Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child relating to children's right to be heard, and Goal 1 of the National Children's Strategy.

The aim of these consultations was to capture the views and opinions of children, young people and parents regarding the services provided and initiatives undertaken by local organisations. It was planned that the results of the consultation would be used to inform the OCO of children's, young people's and parents' views and opinions of the various services provided by local authorities, and contribute to the identification of assessment criteria for making awards under an Awards Scheme planned by the OCO, and contribute to the long-term focus of the awards scheme.

The consultation facilitated children, young people and parents to assess the services and initiatives provided and undertaken by local organisations by exploring two broad questions:

  1. What is good about the area you live in for children, young people and families?
  2. What can be done to make it better?

These questions were explored through focus groups.

The final product of this project was a technical report to the OCO that:

  • Highlighted issues raised by the participants in the various strands of the consultation
  • Identified common themes across the various groups involved in the consultation
  • Identified differences in views and opinions and across the different groups
  • Identified possible criteria which could be used in assessing applications to the Awards Scheme
  • Made recommendations regarding the future focus of the Award Scheme based on the results of the consultation.

Last updated 15 March 2010 by The Children′s Research Centre (Email).