Child Friendly Communities is a UNICEF programme aimed at raising awareness of, and embedding children's rights in communities.
Newcastle has been invited to take part in a national pilot of child friendly communities in the UK. Child Friendly Communities has emerged from the UNICEF report which identified children’s wellbeing in the UK as the worst out of 21 industrialised countries. The project involves seven key elements :
1. Child rights charter
2. Training and awareness raising
3. Independent Advocacy
4. Informing the public
5. Informing all services and settings
6. Children’s rights strategic planning and
7. Child rights impact assessments
It is implicit that children and young people would need to be involved in all aspects of the project and when all seven elements have been satisfactorily achieved and evidenced, UNICEF would assess and if appropriate accredit the community in question as a child friendly community.
The pilot year takes us to March 2011 and in that time we would anticipate achieving some of the above elements, but recognise that many of them will require sustained attention over a number of years to fully embed them in the culture and practice in Newcastle.
1. A children’s rights charter
2. A training programme
3. A communication and engagement plan
4. An Independent advocacy solution
5. An approach to children’s rights strategic planning
6. Implementation of the Rights Respecting Schools model
7. A child rights impact assessment process that complements other impact assessments that the LA is required to undertake
To promote children and young people in Newcastle as rights bearing citizens
To challenge perceptions and stereotypes of children and young people
1. To develop, agree and launch a children’s rights charter for Newcastle.
2. To identify training needs related to the embedding of children’s rights
3. To pilot children’s rights strategic planning in
- Integrated Targeted Services
- Early Years
4. To develop and launch a communication and engagement plan to promote and raise awareness about children’s rights
5. To identify and establish a group of young people to assure the process
Children and young people will experience a better childhood.
They will be respected and valued in line with one of their priorities for the City.
There will be a positive impact on community cohesion with greater understanding between children and young people and older people resulting in a reduced fear of children and young people.
The project will support the equalities impact assessment process
Improved outcomes for children and young people across the City (Rights respecting schools have tangible evidence of improved attendance, behaviour and attainments as a result of implementing this programme)
Newcastle will be one of the first 12 communities in the UK to achieve accreditation as a Child Friendly Community, building on our existing positive reputation both nationally and internationally.