Publication - Advice and guidance

Decision-making: children and young people's participation
Advice and support

Advice and support

A range of national organisations work with children and young people in Scotland, some of which work with more vulnerable groups.  These organisations can offer guidance and support on participation.

This list highlights some of the organisations, but is by no means exhaustive.

  • Action for Children - protects and supports children and young people throughout the UK, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives
  • Aberlour Scotland’s Children’s Charity – the voices and experiences of children and young people inform everything we do and are central to our work as an organisation – to our service delivery, organisational development and campaigning and influencing work
  • Article 12 - supports some of the most marginalised young people, such as gypsy/travellers, care experienced, disabled and those experiencing mental ill-health
  • Barnardo’s Scotland - works with the most disadvantaged children, young people, families and communities to help ensure that every child has the best possible start in life
  • BEMIS – national umbrella body supporting the development of the Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Sector in Scotland
  • CELCIS - dedicated to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people living in and on the edges of care
  • Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland - works to protect the rights of children and young people
  • Children 1st - Scotland's national children's charity, working to prevent abuse and neglect, to protect children and help families and communities to keep children safe. They help survivors of abuse, trauma and other adversity to recover and work to protect children’s rights. Children 1st also run Parentline, an advice and support service and helpline for families, which can be accessed online, via text, web chat, email or over the phone. The service is open seven days a week.   
  • Children in Scotland – by bringing together a network of people working with and for children, alongside children and young people themselves, we offer a broad, balanced and independent voice. We create solutions, provide support and develop positive change across all areas affecting children in Scotland
  • Children’s Parliament – Scotland’s centre of excellence for children’s participation and engagement, works to inspire greater awareness and understanding of the power of children’s human rights and to support the implementation of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the child
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance - membership organisation run by and for disabled people. Free membership and inclusive activities open to disabled people of all ages and impairments/disabilities
  • LGBT Youth Scotland - a national charity for LGBTI young people. Their goal is to make Scotland the best place to grow up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people. They play a leading role in the provision of youth work to LGBTI young people that promotes their health and wellbeing, as well as delivering the LGBT Charter programme to schools, organisations and businesses
  • Look Who's Talking project - a collaboration of international researchers and local early years practitioners exploring how children from birth to seven years old might be supported in having their voices heard. Grounded in a rights-based approach, their work is characterised by innovative and pedagogically appropriate approaches for supporting voice with all individuals, but particularly babies and young children
  • Play Scotland - works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people and works strategically to create increased play opportunities at home, in early learning, childcare and school and in the community
  • Quarriers - Scottish social care charity providing care and support for vulnerable children, adults and families who face extremely challenging circumstances, including those with disabilities, young homeless people and carers
  • Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) – the democratically elected voice of Scotland's young people with members aged 14-25, working to actively listen to and value the meaningful participation of children and young people
  • Smart Play Network - the national organisation supporting play services and play providers in Scotland, aiming to inspire and support communities to play in Scotland
  • Starcatchers - Scotland’s national arts and early years organisation specialising in creating performances and exploring creative activity for babies, toddlers and young children aged 0-5 and the adults who care for them
  • Together - alliance of Scottish children's charities that works to improve the awareness, understanding and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
  • UNICEF -  the United Nations Children's Fund works to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence
  • WhoCares?Scotland - an independent advocacy and influencing organisation, providing direct advocacy to care experienced people, as well as opportunities for local and national participation
  • Young Scot - the national youth information and citizenship charity for 11-26 year olds in Scotland. We provide information, ideas and opportunities for young people, helping them to make informed decisions and choices, connecting them to opportunities locally, national and globally and empowering them to create and drive positive change
  • Youth Scotland - Scotland’s charity for community-based youth work offering quality youth work programmes, information, resources, training and support, including training for adults and young people on youth consultation
  • YouthLink Scotland – the national agency for youth work, representing the policy and practice interests of the youth work sector. It is a membership organisation representing more than 100 youth work organisations across Scotland in both the public and third sectors. YouthLink Scotland has a database with youth work contacts in all local authorities. If you would like to engage with children and young people in a local authority, please contact YouthLink Scotland and they will be happy to assist. 

If you would like the details of contacts at these organisations or would like us to consider your inclusion in this list, please email us at: