Planning children's services: a model of engagement

This document provides a model of engagement for developing children's services plans.


Children and young people have a right to take part in and influence how adults plan and run services for them in the areas where they live and learn. Public Bodies across Scotland need to consider how they do this with children and young people as active partners, so that they are involved all the way through planning, delivering and finding out how good or not those services are. This should not be undertaken in a one-off manner but should become the way adults with decision making power develop relationships with children and young people in their geographic areas so that planners:

  • Understand things better from the child/young person's point of view.
  • Use this understanding to deliver better services.
  • Make sure children and young people know how they are doing, and if they have done the things they said they would.

This is called good strategic planning. It is the responsibility of adults who run services to involve children and young people in all aspects of strategic planning.

Children and young people should also be considered in relation to the National Standards for Community Engagement [1] , these are the good-practice principles designed to support and inform the process of community engagement and improve what happens as a result. The Standards are a tool in supporting Public Bodies to put into practice the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 [2] . The National Standards below have underpinned the work undertaken in the process project partners report on here:

  • Inclusion: This standard relates to identifying and involving the people and organisations that are affected by the focus of the engagement, in this pilot project children and young people.
  • Support: This means identifying and overcoming any barriers to engagement.
  • Planning: This means having a clear purpose for the engagement which is based on a shared understanding of community needs and aspirations.
  • Working together: This means working effectively together to achieve the aims of the engagement.
  • Methods: This standard relates to using methods of engagement that are fit for purpose.
  • Communication: This means communicating clearly and regularly with the people, organisations and communities affected by the engagement.
  • Impact: This standard relates to assessing the impact of the engagement and then using what has been learned to improve future community engagement.


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