Children’s views on what is important

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The views and interests of children in England influence all the work that the Children’s Commissioner’s Office (CCO) undertakes. To inform the CCO’s business planning for 2018/19, the organisation consulted children in an effort to understand what matters to them and what they think needs to improve for children growing up in England.

“Sometimes the people who need to be heard the most are the people who are never asked or included – we have a lot to say.”

Children were asked what groups of children or specific issues we should focus on. Some of the common groups and issues which came up were:

• Children with special educational needs and disabilities
• Children in care
• Children who are ill or in hospital
• Bullying and discrimination
• Children who are abused or neglected.

Other common groups to emerge from discussions that children felt the CCO should focus on are:

• Children with mental health problems
• Children who are home schooled, have been excluded from school or do not get a good education
• Children living in poverty and/or in disadvantaged communities
• Children whose parents are divorced
• Refugee children
• Children who do not speak English as a first language
• Young carers
• Children with alcoholic parents
• Teenage mothers
• Children in prison.

All of the issues pinpointed by children as key points for the CCO to focus on contribute to a parent’s ability to manage their children and families confidently and effectively. Parenting is difficult in any circumstance but coupled with divorce, alcoholism, poverty, disability, mental health problems etc. it just becomes that much more of a challenge.

“Parents might have many troubles so then that could rub off onto children and make the children act differently compared to how they were before.” – Secondary school child

With its tried, tested and proven parenting programme, Kids Matter hopes to empower parents and carers struggling with adversity to develop confidence and parenting skills within their community to enable their children to flourish and sustain well-functioning family life. We believe in family, we champion children and we support parents in their quest to be better.

Please feel free to contact Kids Matter (info@kidsmatter.org.uk) for information regarding our parenting programme – perhaps you’d like to partner with us, volunteer or even support us financially. And for a full report on the consultation conducted by the CCO, CLICK HERE!

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash.

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