Publication - Advice and guidance

Decision-making: children and young people's participation
Gathering the views of children and young people

Gathering the views of children and young people

Children and young people have been asked their views, ideas and experiences on a wide range of issues.

We have collected some of these reports and have focussed on the period from 2017 to the present day. We have included a few earlier reports, which we felt were appropriate. We have also provided links to a number of  relevant websites. 

These reports have been highlighted by our expert working group. They are not necessarily the only or ‘best’ examples. All views expressed in the reports are those of the individuals and organisations involved and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Scottish Government. We do not take responsibility for their content.

We aim to review these recommendations on an annual basis. 

If you have any reports that you would like us to consider for inclusion on this page, please email us at

When you are planning on engaging with children and young people, check if there is any previous engagement on that topic. Look at the reports below. There might already be a report on the views of children and young people on your issue - there may be no need for you to carry out any further engagement. If you do need to engage on your issue, look at practice examples to get some ideas on how you could go about doing this.

Collections of views of children and young people

Children in Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot have brought together a wide range of reports on different topics. You can access these reports either through the links below or in the reports section. 

Children and young people’s evidence bank (Children in Scotland)

The Evidence Bank provides a collection of direct quotes from children and young people taken from published reports and articles on a wide range of topics. Organisations can submit their own children and young people’s evidence (from published reports and articles) by registering on the site.

Topics include:

Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)

Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratic voice of Scotland’s young people. The charity’s members engage with thousands of the young constituents they represent each year on key policy issues, and these views are captured in a database

SYP’s detailed policy work, led by its young members, include responses to a large number of Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament consultations.

SYP also develops a five year policy manifesto, which sets out the views of young people across Scotland, including those from many seldom heard groups. Read more at the Scottish Youth Parliament site.

Young Scot Observatory

One of Young Scot’s aims as an organisation is to find out what it is like to be a young person in Scotland today. Over the last few years they have collaborated with a range of partners to gain insight into a wide variety of topics. Their online library, the Young Scot Observatory, is a collection of all of this insight work.

In 2019, Young Scot launched their first #YSVoice report as part of the Young Scot Observatory.  This interactive report is a compilation of all of their insight work with young people over the previous year, from one-off surveys to Co-Design workshops and residentials. Insights are grouped by categories, providing a one-stop-shop for a variety of topics (e.g. what young people told us about education, what young people told us about health and wellbeing etc). The report is to be produced every six months.  

The following categories are included in the Young Scot Observatory:

Reports and websites


Consultation Report

Additional support for learning

Children & Young People's Evidence Bank


Advocacy Matters: An Analysis of Young People's Views (Who Cares? Scotland)

Arts, culture and heritage

Children & Young People's Evidence Bank


Young Scot Observatory


Heritage Hunters (Children in Scotland)


Making Space (Children in Scotland)  

Childcare and early years

Children & Young People's Evidence Bank



Child protection

Protection from Sexual Offending Online (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Criminalising Emotional Harm (Scottish Youth Parliament)

Climate and environment

Young Scot Observatory


2050 Climate Group & the Environment Strategy for Scotland (2050 Climate Group)


Accessing Greenspaces in Scotland (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Climate Conversation (Scottish Youth Parliament)


On Our Wavelength (YouthLink Scotland)


What Kind of Edinburgh? (Children's Parliament)


What Kind of Aberdeen? (Children's Parliament)


Imagining Aberdeen (Children's Parliament)


Intergenerational Practice Within the Youth Work Sector Report (YouthLink Scotland, The Robertson Trust, Generations Working Together, Scottish Government)


10,000 Voices (Dumfries and Galloway Council)


Being Heard (John Ross Scott and Kristopher Leask)


Edinburgh Children's Partnership (Children's Parliament)


Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (Children's Parliament)


Age of Criminal Responsibility (Children's Parliament)


Age of Criminal Responsibility: Additional Submission (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Consultation on the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (Who Cares? Scotland)


F9 Form used for Sheriff Court (Children's Parliament)


Care Experience and Criminalisation: Influencing Change (Who Cares? Scotland)


Biometrics (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Criminal Offences of Cruelty to Children (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Police Scotland's strategy (Children's Parliament)


Children's Participation in Family Law Proceedings (The University of Edinburgh)

Decision-making– national level

Young Scot Observatory


The Impact of Children and Young People’s Participation in Policy Making (Children in Scotland)


Lead the Way Manifesto 2016-2021 (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Year of Young People: Interim Planning Group Recommendations (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Children and Young People’s Views on Participation and Principles for Practice (Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People)


Actions Agreed at the Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People, February 2017 (Scottish Government)


Actions Agreed at the Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People, March 2018 (Scottish Government)


Actions Agreed at the Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People, March 2019 (Scottish Government)


National Sitting 2019 (Children's Parliament)


National Sitting 2018 (Children's Parliament)

Domestic abuse

Learning to Listen to Children and Young People Experiencing Domestic Abuse in Scotland (Scottish Women's Aid)

Electoral reform

Response on Electoral Reform (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Youth VIP (Volunteer Innovation Project)

Equality and diversity

Young Scot Observatory


Gender Recognition (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Everyday Heroes - Executive Summary


Everyday Heroes - Service Responses Report


Everyday Heroes - Justice Report


Everyday Heroes - Gender Inequality and Societal Attitudes


LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group Report (Time for Inclusive Education)


The Perceptions and Experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Young People in Scottish Schools (Intercultural Youth Scotland & EDI Scotland)  


Supporting Disabled Children, Young People and Their Families Guidance (Scottish Government) is a useful website providing guidance to help improve the experiences of disabled children, young people and their families


Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People (LGBT Youth Scotland)


Young Carer Grant Initial Findings (Scottish Government)

Europe and international

Young Scot Observatory


Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe (Children in Scotland & Together, the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)


UK Youth Perspectives and Priorities for Brexit Negotiations (London School of Economics and Political Science)


Scotland Malawi Partnership Annual Report (Scotland Malawi Partnership)


Global Voices Competition (Scottish Government & Young Scot) 


Family Law Review (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Children and Young People's Evidence Bank  


Children's Future Food Inquiry


School Food & Drink (Children's Parliament)

Health and wellbeing

Children and Young People's Evidence Bank


Young Scot Observatory


An Alcohol-Free Childhood (Children's Parliament)


Consent for mental health treatment (Scottish Youth Parliament)


The Road to Recovery Refresh (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Primary Health Care (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Peer researchers looking into health inequalities (Children in Scotland)


Healthcare Improvement Scotland, SIGN and the Chief Scientists Office (CSO) are useful websites  to find out children and young people’s views on health issues.  


Understanding the Needs of Young People Living in Social Housing Research Project (Children in Scotland/Poverty Alliance)

Human rights

Children and Young People’s Evidence Bank


UNCRC Incorporation (Children's Parliament)


Progressing Children's Rights in Scotland Action Plan 2018-2021 January 2019 (Children's Parliament)


Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (Children's Parliament)


Human Rights and the Scottish Parliament (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Response to UNCRC Consultation (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Right Here Right Now (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Response to UNCRC Consultation (Together Scotland)

Media, technology and digital

Young Scot Observatory

Minority ethnic groups

Young People's Ideas for Race Equality in Scotland (Young Scot)

Money and finance

Young Scot Observatory


Best Start Grant April 2018 (Children's Parliament)


Child Poverty Bill & Delivery Plan (Children's Parliament)


Social Security Experience Panels - Initial Findings on the Development of the Young Carer Grant


Child Poverty Bill (Scottish Youth Parliament)

Schools and learning

Young Scot Observatory


Children & Young People's Evidence Bank


Review of Professional Standards (Children In Scotland)


Excite.Ed - Delivering Excellence and Equity in Scottish Education


Wellbeing Resource for Teachers and Practitioners (Children in Scotland) 


Consultation on Subject Choices (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Scottish Learner Journey (15-24) (Young Scot)


Access & Barriers to Higher + Further Education (Children's Parliament)


Young Edinburgh Action - Sex Education in Schools


Report on Experiences of Autistic Children Missing School


Manor Park Parliament (Children's Parliament)


Empowering Learners (Scottish Government)


Young Scot Observatory


A9 Co-Creative Process (Children's Parliament)


Eligibility of Concessionary Travel (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Seatbelts on School Transport (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Transport Bill (Scottish Youth Parliament)


Young Scot Observatory


Young Scot Observatory