02. Our Achievements Since The Last Cabinet Meeting With Children And Young People
Listening to children and young people’s voices
The meeting between Cabinet Ministers and children and young people will take place every year.
- The next Cabinet meeting with children and young people will take place on Tuesday 6 March 2018. This event will now take place every year.
Respect and listen to children and young people and make sure that people working in the Scottish Government know that it is important to let children and young people have their say on topics that affect them.
- We are pleased that more people working for the Scottish Government understand that it is important to let children and young people have their say on topics that affect them. For example, people making laws on Seat Belts on School Transport and Climate Change have been in touch with us. And we have put these people in touch with organisations that work with children and young people, such as the Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament, Young Scot and Children in Scotland.
- In November 2017, we invited people in the Scottish Government to hear about different ways that they can go about listening to children and young people’s views on their policies and laws. Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament and Children in Scotland ran this event for us.
- 2018 is the Year of Young People in Scotland. We’ve been working closely with organisations that work with children and young people. Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament have made a co-design blueprint, which sets out why it is important to involve young people in planning this year and how people can go about doing this.
- We have carried out two pieces of research which looked at the importance of listening to children and young people’s views when adults are making decisions about policies, laws and services (such as schools) that affect them. We have also carried out a survey which asked children and young people questions about making their views heard and acted on in decisions that affect their lives. And we looked at the participation of children and young people in out of school activities.
- We support people in the Scottish Government to look at children’s rights and wellbeing when they are developing new policies and laws – by carrying out a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment ( CRWIA).
- We are developing a framework to support disabled children, young people and their families – so they get the right support, at the right time, and in the right way. We have also set up a Young Disabled People’s Forum, which will let disabled young people give their views when we discuss policies.
- We have started to discuss a participation framework and will make sure that it looks at the needs of children and young people themselves.
- We have set up a group in the Scottish Government to make sure that we are all working together for the best interests of children and young people in Scotland.
Make sure that children and young people can talk to Scottish Ministers about issues that they feel are important to them. And Scottish Ministers should be able to come and talk to children and young people to listen to their views on laws that they are making.
- When children and young people get in touch with us about their views on a particular topic, we pass this information on to the correct people in the Scottish Government to deal with.
- Different organisations that work with children and young people have worked with us to help children and young people have their voices heard on different topics during 2017, such as on child poverty, school education and mental health.
John Finnie ( MSP) has asked the Scottish Parliament to consider a law to stop parents using all forms of physical punishment (e.g. smacking) of children and young people. Mr Swinney (Deputy First Minister) will consider the views of children and young people before he replies to John Finnie.
- The Scottish Government supports John Finnie’s idea for this law. Mr Finnie will put his idea to Parliament in 2018.
- Mr Finnie asked people in Scotland what they thought of his idea. Some children and young people (and organisations that work with children and young people) replied and most agreed with him.
Listen to young people’s views on the Child Poverty Bill.
- We are working with the Children’s Parliament to listen to the views of children at several high schools across Scotland on what it’s like to be very poor and how we can stop children from living in poverty.
- We are also working with the Prince’s Trust, Young Scot, Scottish Women’s Aid and Fife Gingerbread on getting young people’s views on being poor in Scotland.
- The views that we hear from children and young people will help us when we make a new law on Child Poverty.
Schools and teachers
Look at training for student teachers so that it could include children speaking to student teachers about what they think the role and qualities of a teacher are.
- There is a new law being made on school education. This law will look at student teachers having the right skills for teaching. Pupils will also be consulted on what skills a teacher needs to do their job well.
Children and young people’s rights in Scotland
Protect children and young people’s rights. Make sure that their views are listened to on human rights and on Scotland’s international responsibilities on human rights. Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament ( MSYPs) also asked for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC) to be further reflected in Scots law.
Programme for Government 2017-18
- The Programme for Government 2017-18 sets out what the Scottish Government is planning to do over the next year. It says that the Year of Young People 2018 is a fantastic opportunity to hear the voices of children and young people and to celebrate their many achievements.
- The participation theme of the Year of Young People says that young people should have their say, when people are making decisions that will affect them (e.g. decisions about their school, hospitals, transport, out of school activities and so on). The Year of Young People is a great way of making people across Scotland more aware of children’s rights, in particular Article 12 (you have a right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously).
- We will look at whether there are ways to further reflect the UNCRC in Scots law and whether there are other ways that we can show the importance of children’s rights.
- As part of our Year of Young People, we will also carry out a three-year programme to make more people in Scotland know about children’s rights, including children and young people themselves.
- We will set up a group of experts to look at how Scotland can continue to be one of the leading countries on human rights.
United Nations Human Rights Treaties
- The UK has signed up to seven United Nations human rights treaties and reports regularly on how it is upholding them. The Scottish Government contributes to UK reports to inform the UN of action being taken in Scotland to help people realise their human rights. The Children’s Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament are invited to take part in meetings with the Scottish Government so that children and young people can give their views on Scotland’s successes and what it could do better.
- The Scottish Youth Parliament, the Children’s Parliament, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Together and LGBT Youth Scotland were at meetings on 25 April 2017 and 12 June 2017 to discuss these treaties.
Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
- Part 1 of this Act says that Scottish Ministers need to consider what Scotland is doing for children’s rights and what more might be done, using the UNCRC as their guide. Ministers also need to write a report every three years to the Scottish Parliament which sets out what they have done for children’s rights over the last three years and what they are planning to do over the next three years. The first report is due in later 2018.
- Public authorities also need to write a report every three years on what they have done on children’s rights. The first reports are due in 2020.
- Part 2 of the Act gives the Children’s Commissioner new powers to look into whether those who provide services (like schools) take children’s rights seriously and that they listen to the views of children and young people, when they are making decisions that affect them.
- We are working with the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children’s Parliament on how we can make sure that children and young people’s views are listened to when we write this report on children’s rights.
- We think that it is important that children and young people’s voices are heard in Brexit discussions and decisions. Any Brexit decision should look at how it might affect children’s rights.
Focus on young people’s mental health aged 16-25 years.
- We are looking at the possibility of continuing the care and treatment of young people aged between 18 and 25 years at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ( CAMHS). A Youth Commission, led by Young Scot, will give young people the opportunity to work with others (such as experts on mental health) to come up with their own recommendations on letting 18-25 year olds continue to be treated at CAMHS. They will show their advice to Ministers.
- Our Mental Health Strategy shows how we want to improve young people’s mental health services. Action 21 sets out what we want to do for young people who are leaving the mental health system entirely so that we can make it better for them through anticipatory care planning ( ACP) approaches. The Scottish Youth Parliament are helping us with this. We are also looking at how to make improvements for young people who are going to start using adult mental health services.
- Action 18 in the Mental Health Strategy is looking at the reasons why some children and young people weren’t allowed to get care and treatment from CAMHS. We will also provide advice on how to make it a better experience for those children and young people who use CAMHS.
- We are writing a plan on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The Scottish Youth Parliament are helping us to make sure that young people’s voices are heard when we write this plan.
Work with young people to make sure that health services are youth friendly.
- We are writing a new guide for doctors and others who work with young parents so that they can make sure that young parents feel comfortable when using maternity services. Young Scot are also developing resources for young people about maternity care, as well as many other things that matter to young parents.
- Some children and young people have developed a poster showing their top 10 messages about their health and wellbeing and using health services.
Look at the connections between young people with learning disabilities and mental health. Also look at links between the Mental Health Strategy and the Autism Strategy.
- We published a report in November 2017 which said that there should be a hospital where children and young people with mental health conditions, learning difficulties and autism could go to. We have begun to look into this.
- In May 2017, a group of young autistic people gave training on autism to Cabinet Ministers. Following on from this, we will make sure that there are better connections between the Autism and Mental Health Strategies.
- We will improve the involvement of young people in future decisions on our Autism and Learning Disability policies. In March the 2018 National Autism Conference will focus on autistic young people and their talents.
- We will work closer with people working on the Mental Health Strategy so that there are connections between mental health and autism.
- We worked with Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament ( MSYPs) so that we could hear young people’s views on autism to help us with our Autism Strategy.
The future of Scotland’s relationship with Europe
Listen to young people’s views when decisions are made on Brexit.
- We are working with Young Scot to make sure that young people’s voices are heard during discussions on Brexit.
- Young Scot published a report on “ The Future of Europe” in October 2017, which shows the views of young people on Europe’s future as a result of an event in Brussels in March. Mr Russell (who is the Scottish Minister leading on Brexit) held a live question and answer session with young people at Young Scot.
- Mr Russell had a meeting in October 2017 with Children in Scotland, Together and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland. These organisations agreed to look at how they can work with the Scottish Government on making sure that children and young people’s voices are heard during Brexit discussions during the Year of Young People 2018.
- We are also looking at who Mr Russell can meet to make sure that children and young people’s voices are heard in the Brexit discussions.
- We are also working across the Scottish Government to make sure that the voices of children and young people are listened to when new policies and laws are made because of Brexit.