Children and young people's participation: practice examples

Case studies of organisations who have engaged with children and young people.

Young Scot Strategic Plan

#YSThree was a diverse group of young people from across Scotland who were recruited, empowered and supported to share their experiences and ideas and to engage with other young people, partners and stakeholders to shape the work of Young Scot over three years (2019 to 2022) and to co-develop and co-design their strategic plan for this period.

Young people have always been at the heart of Young Scot. So it was crucial that young people had the opportunity to influence, develop, shape and design their strategic plan, which was  designed to benefit young people across the country.

#YSThree was a group of 17 young people, aged 14 to 20 who took part in an open recruitment process, including a selection day at Young Scot’s office. Young Scot used an open recruitment process to ensure as many young people as possible had an opportunity to apply to be part of #YSThree.  To ensure there was good representation across equalities strands, Young Scot used their extensive partnership network to promote the opportunity.  During the engagement process; #YSThree and Young Scot used this network to promote the survey to young people and included an equalities monitoring form.  The group used both online and offline engagement activity.

#YSThree officially launched in June 2018.

Using Young Scot’s co-design approach and 'three' as their theme, #YSThree carried out a range of engagement activity from June to September 2018.  This included:

  • insight sessions with young people in West Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh and Perth
  • interviews with funders, including the Scottish Government’s Children’s Rights and Participation Team and Public Health Team
  • 3:1 interviews with a range of stakeholders and partners including COSLA, IoD Scotland, Scottish Government Digital Directorate, YouthLink Scotland, Children in Scotland, Education Scotland, the Chair of Young Scot and the Deputy First Minister
  • national surveys of young people and stakeholders
  • 'Dear Young Scot…' open letters with young people

Over 900 young people from across all 32 local authorities took part in the engagement activity. 75 national, regional and local stakeholders and partners also provided their responses and input.  This engagement allowed #YSThree to:

  • gather feedback on Young Scot’s existing work and priorities
  • think about how Young Scot might align its new strategic plan with young people’s priorities
  • identify the key issues young people would face over the next three years

#YSThree presented the draft strategic plan to the Young Scot Board in February 2019.  The final version was published in March 2019.  Several members of the group have continued to be involved and volunteer with Young Scot and one member has recently been appointed to the Young Scot Board.

#YSThree wrote the foreword to the Young Scot Strategic Plan 2019 to 2022.

The National Youth Work Strategy (2020 to 2025)

The National Youth Work Strategy (2020 to 2025) is being led by YouthLink Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government and Education Scotland.

The strategy is being co-produced to ensure that the priorities and commitments reflect the interests, knowledge, experiences, expertise and skills of all youth work stakeholders and contributes to a meaningful legacy of the Year of Young People 2018. This will help continuing commitment to young people’s empowerment and leadership opportunities. This is involving a series of local and national consultation events, which will inform the priorities and commitments of the renewed strategy.

A young people’s group has been set up to help with the co-production. The group have designed and conducted surveys of other young people to highlight areas that the strategy should focus on. They have also been involved in the reviewing the previous youth work strategy and are currently involved in planning a youth work strategy event in 2020.

Consultation events, supported through Scottish Government funding and administered by YouthLink Scotland, have taken place across the country to engage young people and youth workers in their own environment. 25 events have taken place, targeting all young people between the ages of 12 and 25 - including seldom heard young people. Over 1500 young people and youth workers have been involved in this process, including groups of interest and geography. There has been a focus on equality and those who experience barriers to participation.

There have been a range of events taking place. Some of these events have been one off events. Others have involved groups hosting a series of events in different areas of Scotland and across different groups (e.g. carers).  A wide range of young people have been involved. These have included LGBT groups, carers, equality and religious groups (including a specific event led by InterFaithScotland) and Island communities (Shetland and Orkney ran their own events). Young people have also come from areas with differing amounts of deprivation, including those from the most deprived areas of Scotland. YouthLink Scotland is currently receiving reports about the 25 events which have taken place.

Information gathered from these events was discussed with the national youth work strategy strategic group in January 2020. All the information gathered will then be used to present a proposal of Key Themes Emerging to the Scottish Government. This will highlight the youth work sector’s priorities for youth work in Scotland. There will be more  engagement and further changes to the draft strategy. The aim is to launch a consultation on the draft strategy in late spring 2020.


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:

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