6 Advocacy services for children and young people
What the Committee said:
"The Committee recommends that the State party … promote, facilitate and implement, in legislation as well as in practice, within the family, schools, and the community as well as in institutions and in administrative and judicial proceedings, the principle of respect for the views of the child."
Progress to date
- We have developed the 10 core components of GIRFEC. These underpin the GIRFEC approach to working with children and young people which places them - and their views - at the centre of activity. The views of the child should be sought wherever possible at all stages and decisions should be made with the child or young person and their family wherever possible.
- We published the scoping study, 'Advocacy makes you feel brave', in early 2010. That report:
- identified that, on the whole, advocacy was considered to be a core service in ensuring that children and young people's rights were upheld;
- recognised the need to promote, and increase awareness of, advocacy provision more effectively;
- suggested that the quality of the advocacy relationship was the most important thing for children and young people;
- suggested that provision was a bit of a post code lottery, with availability and quality depending very much on where a child lived; and, linked to this;
- suggested there were gaps in provision, resulting in some people's advocacy needs not being met; and
- suggested that there was currently no strategic approach to ensuring the availability of high quality provision.
- In autumn 2010 we established a national multi-agency steering group to support us in meeting our commitment to improve the quality, consistency and availability of advocacy support for children and young people.
- On 14 November 2011 we published the national consultation paper, 'Improving Advocacy for Children and Young People: Principles and minimum standards'. The paper proposed a set of national principles and minimum standards to be applied whenever advocacy support is being given to a child or young person. The consultation closed on 29 February 2012.
- We will analyse the responses to the consultation on principles and minimum standards and publish a report setting out key findings in June. As part of this process, we will publish a separate report for children and young people.
- We will reconvene the national steering group later in the year to consider the findings of the consultation and the implications for the next stage of this work.