"You can easily get caught up in systems and protocols and lose sight of the human dimension: a rights lens allows for the child in the middle of the process to be brought back into the equation." (a children's professional who attended a Child Rights Partners training session in 2014)

Our programme activities

The programme focuses on a number of key activities, all developed and delivered in collaboration with our local authority partners:

  • Tools and guidance: we develop tools and guidance to help local authorities and their partners put children’s rights at the heart of what they do. We are developing, testing and rolling out a child rights outcomes framework as well as good practice guides based on children’s rights and the principles of a rights-based approach. This will enable our partners to plan and deliver services that are grounded in children’s rights. Some of the guidance we are developing focuses on specific areas of work such as how to commission services that are rights-based.
  • Training and support: we provide training and support to local authorities and their partners to build their skills and knowledge of child rights and how to work within a rights-based approach. This includes delivering in-person child rights training to staff and partners in the local authorities where we work, such as local councillors, frontline staff (eg social workers, early years practitioners), policy and decision makers (eg commissioning managers), and partner agencies (eg police, NHS, third sector providers). To date, we have delivered training to nearly 500 people. Our "Introduction to children’s rights" training is accredited with the CPD Certification Service. This means participants can count their learning hours towards their continuous professional development (CPD) requirements.
  • Research and evaluation: as an action research programme, we are testing the approach and assessing its impact. We do this by collecting evidence and evaluating services that have been designed and delivered as part of the programme. This enables us to tailor our approach and share learning. Ultimately, we want to establish good practice standards on how to plan and deliver services within a child rights-based approach.

Read more about our local authority partners, find out what themes we are focusing on and why we work with public services.

CPD Accreditation Service logoWe are a member of CPD Accreditation Service, an independent continuous professional development (CPD) accreditation institution which supports organisations to formalise their expertise into a structured and recognised approach to learning.

A model for UK local authorities

During the pilot, we are exploring the application of child rights-based approach in specific areas of public services in a small number of UK local authorities.

Our long term ambition is to develop models that can be replicated across the UK to achieve a step-change in the way children experience public services. We want  local authority staff and their partners across the UK to consider and apply child rights principles in all aspects of their work – whether they provide direct support to children and young people or make decisions that affect children's lives and the services they use. Ultimately, we want to make sure all children and young people - whether they are living in residential care, accessing mental health services or simply using the library - are treated with dignity and fairness, and feel safe and achieve the best possible outcomes.

 
Children and young people in a Glasgow school © Unicef UK/14/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
We are working with a small cohort of local authorities across the UK to develop, test and evaluate the most effective ways to embed children’s rights in local authorities' policy and practice to transform public services and improve children and young people’s lives.© Unicef UK/14/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert