Voice of the Infant: best practice guidelines and infant pledge

Co-produced by a short-life working group, on behalf of the Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group, which is part of the Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board.

Appendix 2: Infant Pledge

The Infant Pledge

  • Has been co-produced by members of the Voice of the Infant Short-Life Working Group
  • Is written in simple language from the baby's perspective
  • Details what a baby can expect from the adults around them
  • Encourages mindful commitment to facilitate infants to express their feelings, consider their views, uphold their rights and take action accordingly
  • Is a reminder it is everyone's responsibility to listen to the voice of infants

The Pledge is available as a one page sheet that can be printed and put up as a poster in places welcoming babies.

Infant Pledge

I am one of Scotland’s youngest citizens. To give me the best start, so that I can thrive throughout my life, I need to be seen as a person with my own feelings and rights. I depend on adults to interpret my cues and communications so that my rights are upheld, and my voice is heard.

My relationships with the people who care for me are important and directly affect how my brain grows and develops, and how I learn to process and regulate my feelings. Safe and secure relationships and consistent care support my wellbeing now and give me better chances and outcomes in later life too.

Professionals and academics in the field of Infant Mental Health alongside organisations championing the rights and welfare of babies and very young children have come together on my behalf to create the following expectations, which they believe would help improve my life chances.

I expect that I will:

1. Be seen as a person with my own feelings and views.

2. Be seen as able to communicate my feelings and views.

3. Be able to trust my important adults to think carefully about my feelings and views and speak them for me.

4. Be supported to have secure relationships with the adults who care for me.

5. Have safe, interesting places to play and learn, and the help I need to do so.

6. Have my views valued by my family, community, and society.

7. Have a say in decisions about what happens to me.

My important adults will:

8. Have support to be healthy, including before I am born.

9. Have the information they need to make good choices for me.

10. Have the support they need to understand and meet my needs and their own.

11. Have help from people with the right knowledge and skills.

It is everyone's responsibility to:

12. Consider me and my perspective at all levels of decision making.

Produced by the Voice of the Infant subgroup on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group


Email: pimh@gov.scot

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