Can Scotland be Brave – Incorporating UNCRC Article 12 in practice

This project investigated how well practitioners, understood and implemented the full obligations of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (‘UNCRC’).

Scope & Aims of the Project

The scope of the project 

Effective communication is at the heart of holistic care. One of the ambitions of achieving transformation in our services is to ensure that practitioners are actively creating opportunities or care pathways to listen, record and evidence the voices and stories of CYP. The first step towards providing support that addresses these concerns is to ensure their views are central to decision-making. A broad multi- agency approach is needed to help services look beyond the immediate picture and see how situations link with wider issues relevant to health and well-being. 

This pilot study looks at current practice across three environments: health, education and third sector. In investigating the broader context of services offered to CYP, we wanted to share some of their unique strengths, as well as to highlight some of the barriers that currently exist in achieving good collaborative practice. We also wanted to include the voices of CYP of all ages, so we included places that had access to preschool, primary and secondary children. 

Aims of the project

  • To help practitioners understand the full obligations of UNCRC Article 12 in their current practice.
  • To help practitioners feel confident in having conversations which reflect CYP's emerging decision making.
  • To establish whether CYP are happy to give their views using a TM format and whether they are confident that their views will have influence in accordance with their rights.

We concentrated on enhancing the participation of CYP by training practitioners in best practice interview techniques and giving them a tool to structure conversations, because: 

1. Child participation is a key driver of policy in Scotland and there is a gap in knowledge regarding the extent and reach of UNCRC and its implications for practice.

2. Multi agency working is essential to good quality support for CYP.

3. There is a need for non-specialist tools that can be assimilated into standard practice across services without having to rely unnecessarily on specialist intervention



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