3. What we have done up to now
Rights and Participation Project
From 2019 – 2022 the Scottish Government funded a charity called Children 1st to work with children and families with experience of child protection and justice processes. The things they learned included:
- Children have a right to be heard when they have been a victim or witness of violence. The right place, the right people and the right support are needed.
- Children and families should have opportunities to take part in designing services.
The Changemakers Project
We continued funding Children 1st through 2022-23 for the Changemakers project. The project is:
- Listening to children and young people who have experience of child protection and justice systems. This will help us make big improvements for children in the future. It will help them recover from the point when a concern has been raised.
- Creating safe spaces for children and young people and their parents/carers to take part in designing the Bairns' Hoose.
Children 1st ran creative workshops. These were to find out what matters to children, young people and their families in setting up the North Strathclyde Bairns' Hoose.
The sessions invited families to share their ideas, views, and wishes on what a Bairns' Hoose should look like. There were 8 workshops across Scotland with 79 people taking part.
Individual participation gives children and young people the chance to share their stories, ideas, feedback and experiences. For some children and young people, sharing their story helps their recovery.
Bairns' Hoose Standards
Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Care Inspectorate made a set of Standards for Scotland's Bairns' Hoose. Children and young people helped to develop these.
In 2022, 6 organisations helped children to take part in developing the Standards. Each organisation had a link worker who helped children get involved.
European Barnahus Quality Standards
The European Barnahus Quality Standardsare respected around the world. They were used as a key part of developing our plans for a Scottish Bairns' Hoose.
Using these Quality Standards to develop the Scottish Standards has made sure that our version is based on rights and good information. This will help it to meet the needs of children and young people.
What we have learned so far
The HIS project team asked the link workers how the work had been going so far. Their feedback told us that:
- The children and young people involved were proud to say that they built the children's version of the standards.
- A number of organisations involved now have a group of young people that they talk with regularly about issues affecting them.
- This work has been useful for finding out the best ways to reach out to children and young people and keep them involved.
- Young people with experience of the current system felt it was good to use their experiences to make the future better for others.
It takes time to find and bring together a group of young people to talk about an emotional and complicated subject like the Bairns' Hoose.
Time and space help the children and young people to build trust and become comfortable. As time went by the link workers found the young people became more comfortable and confident in talking about the standards.
It was important to let the children and young people work at their own speed and let them think about the subject in a way that was right for them. The project team were flexible about how the key messages from the Standards Development Group were fed back .
The children and young people were good at taking their experience and saying how it could have been made better for them.
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