What we do

How the programme works

Child Friendly Cities & Communities brings Unicef together with local government to put children’s rights at the heart of local services, policy and planning.

We work with political leaders, frontline staff, community and voluntary organisations and more, to make sure the wishes and experiences of children influence local services. We aim to profoundly change the way local government works with and for children, so children have a say in decisions that affect them, experience services that are built with and for them, know what services are available to them and feel safe and prioritised within their cities and communities.

How we work

We partner with councils in the UK who wish to work towards recognition as a Child Friendly City or Community. Over the course of three to five years, we support councils to achieve measurable progress in embedding children’s rights across a city or community. We work collaboratively with councils, providing training, guidance and challenge throughout their journey.

The road to recognition

The journey a city or community takes through the programme is shaped and led by the local council working collaboratively with the wider community, including children, young people and local partners with support from Unicef.

Achieving ‘Child Friendly’ status will depend on the authority’s progress and development in key areas such as political commitment to children’s rights, workforce knowledge and understanding of children’s rights, meaningful participation and equal access to services.

These key areas are identified by the city or community at the outset of the journey and in line with local needs and context. Progress is assessed through a mixture of self-evaluation, child-led evaluation and by an independent panel of experts in human rights, child well-being and public services.

The journey a local authority take through with Child Friendly Cities and Communities.

The journey towards recognition as a Child Friendly City or Community.