Seen + Heard
Seen + Heard is a creative, rights-based project for looked after children aged 9 -14 from across Fife. Using creative arts, Children’s Parliament in partnership with Fife’s Corporate Parent Board, supports groups of children to explore what it means to be healthy, happy, and safe in care. Members of Children’s Parliament (MCPs) are supported to learn about their rights, have a say in matters that affect them, and build relationships with adults decision-makers. Children’s views and experiences resulting from the project will inform decisions made by the Corporate Parent Board and help improve services for looked after children across Fife.
Seen + Heard Fife is a spotlight group work programme demonstrating how to engage creatively with younger care experienced children (9 – 14 years) so that their experiences, views and ideas inform policy and practice at a local and national level. Children’s human rights form the foundation of the programme, creating space for care experienced children to develop skills, values, behaviours and knowledge; amplify their voice; and ensure they are heard by those making decisions that impact upon their lives.
Engagement starts with the exploration of identities, values, dreams and ambitions and supporting the children to share with adults close to them what they need to be healthy, happy and safe in care. The group work progresses to support children to share their ideas, experiences and opinions with adults who make decisions across Fife and nationally.
The programme is funded by and run in partnership with Fife Council with direct delivery supported by the Corporate Parenting Development Team.
The aims of the programme are:
- Improved outcomes for children including:
- Improved wellbeing, confidence and self-belief
- Improved relationships with peers and adults
- Increased awareness of support and services
- Children have increased opportunities to influence decision making
- Seen + Heard influences the actions of the Corporate Parent Board to improve policy and practice for care experienced children
- Seen + Heard influences policy and practice for care experienced children nationally specifically through engagement with the Care Review
- Families, schools and social work support the children’s participation and learn from the children’s rights approach
The programme runs in annual cycles with approximately 10 children per group with two groups running a year. The children meet for a full day monthly and more frequently around key events. Recent highlights include the children presenting their key messages to over 60 important adults through an interactive creative exhibition called Process the Meaning. They were also represented at the 2018 and 2019 annual Cabinet meetings with children and young people. They shared their experience of a child rights approach at the Eurochild conference in Croatia. Finally, they informed the Independent Care Review.
We aim to review and update this information every year so that the examples are kept up-to-date.
If you have a practice example that you would like us to consider to include, please email the details to: ChildrensRightsandParticipation@gov.scot
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