MacKay Hannah

Understanding and Delivering Children's Participation

Thu 7th Dec 2017

, Brodies LLP - Edinburgh

SUPPORTERS All Supporters

OVERVIEW View Webinar Agenda

It is widely accepted that children and young people have a right to have a say in decisions that affect them. It wasn’t always the case. In the past, the notion that children and young people had a view worth contributing would frequently have been challenged and justification sought as to why children and young people were having an influence on matters affecting them. Thankfully, the question most often asked now regarding the participation of children and young people is “how?” rather than “why?”.

Children’s participation is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12, which gives a child a right to have an opinion, a right to express their opinion and for that opinion to be taken into account in any decisions that affect them. This sounds straight forward, but it is often challenging to put into practice. It raises fundamental questions about who sets the agenda within which the views are sought, the age and capacity of the children involved, individual differences among children and how these should be reflected in processes, how to get to the most excluded groups and what occurs when the collective views of children are opposed to other decision makers in the system.

This seminar, led by Tam Baillie, former Scotland Commissioner for Children and Young People and will help participants answer these questions by focusing on:

  • What does the UNCRC actually say about participation?
  • Whose participation agenda and at which point of entry for children and young people?
  • Approaches to participation and tools of engagement
  • Ongoing involvement and monitoring by children and young people

This seminar is suitable for anyone responsible for children and young people. This can be carers, staff responsible for the delivery of services to children and families, managers responsible for allocating resources for children and young people, policy makers at all levels and senior managers directing policy and resources.

Attendance at this seminar will provide an opportunity for you to:

  • Improve your knowledge and understanding of the UN human rights frameworks, particularly the UNCRC and participation
  • Increase your understanding of different approaches to participation of children and young people
  • Increase your confidence in applying a participatory approach in your role
  • Develop your capacity to see where future improvements can be made in respect of child and young people’s participation

The seminar will be a mixture of lecture input and reflection on the part of the participants. It will allow participants the opportunity to be better informed about the international framework of children’s rights and participation and allow them the space to reflect on their own role and how they can apply participation rights in a more meaningful way. Be prepared for an interactive session and the opportunity for learning from others.


The seminar is one of a series promoting and further safeguarding children’s rights in Scotland. You will be surprised by what you already know and this will add to your knowledge and confidence in application of our international obligations.

CR Discount


Tam Baillie

former Scotland Commissioner for Children and Young People

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Found event very interesting, very motivating.

Jen Mitchell - Claypotts Castle Primary School,
Delegate Closing Scotland's Education Poverty and Attainment Gap