Scottish Youth Parliament – Getting involved with the Children and Young People Bill
There’s something a little scary about being asked by the Scottish Government what you think about their plans to rewrite the relationship between young people and government services. It’s very complicated, very important, and just a little bit confusing at first.
However, the Children and Young People Bill is one of the most important pieces of law currently being written; and the Scottish Youth Parliament are involved in making sure young people from across Scotland are able to get involved. That’s how Mellissa Gorman, David Kerr and I ended up at a planning meeting to discuss how we could ensure young people could be properly heard.
All young people in Scotland have different services whose job is to look after you, from schools to social care. Young people have distinct rights, and there are different guidelines to help organisations. This Bill is about putting all of these different documents together to provide one joined-up approach. That’s not a simple job though – everything from local authority rules to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child have been considered.
Our role at the planning meeting was to come up with a way to make the very dry government questions easier for young people to understand and respond to. The discussion was run by ourselves, so the whole process was completely led by young people. That meant we went through lots of background knowledge of the questions before rewording them to make them much shorter and more youth friendly; hopefully allowing any young person to respond with detailed answers.
UPDATED: The survey has now closed.
Thanks to all those who contributed top the SYP’s online survey. The responses will be put together into a report which the Scottish Government have said will be taken very seriously.
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