A message from Paul Marshall, MCC Director of Children’s Services and Julie Stephens-Rowe, Independent Chair of MSCB:
Our City Our Say – a strategy for strengthening the voice and influence of children and young people.
Your views and ideas are important tell us what you think of our draft strategy.
As part of an ongoing consultation with children and young people and organisations and services who work with them.
‘Our City, Our Say’ strategy will inform how all organisations and services work with and for children and young people in a way that strengthens the voice and influence that they have. This Strategy will be overseen and supported by Manchester Children’s Safeguarding Children Board and Children’s Board.
Voice and influence happens when children and young people have their say about the decisions that affect their life and when they are involved in the developments going on in the world around them. If you look closely at the dictionary definition of the words ‘voice’ and ‘influence’, you will see two other important words; right(s) and power. Having voice and influence means that children and young people are using their rights and have the power to make a positive difference.
Having voice and influence means that children and young people have the power to make a positive difference. Children and young people can use their voice and influence on their own as individuals, or collectively by working together as a group.
Early September 2016, the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield attended a consultation event at Manchester Central attended by more than a hundred young people and organisations and services who work closely with them, and she spoke to many of the young people there about what they wanted from ‘Our City, Our Say’.
We got a lot of feedback on the day, and we now want to build on this – young people and professionals told us:
– the strategy needs to be clear about how we will measure positive impact and our success.
– it is not clear in the draft Strategy how we will ensure it reaches all children and young people and takes into account equality and diversity.
– we need to make sure we develop a shared understanding of what different organisations are doing to promote participation and engagement aimed at hearing the voice
of children and young people. Most importantly participants felt we need to celebrate and build on what we are already doing well and not try to reinvent the wheel.
– the strategy needs to be clear about how we are going to manage communications so key messages are heard and understood far and wide.
– how will we as a partnership support and influence organisations to engage in the strategy.
– the Strategy should introduce and support the development of Young Ambassadors to champion and influence thinking.
We would ask you to review and share the draft Strategy that is attached below and then share any views and ideas you, your colleagues and children and young people you are working with have about it. You can let us have your comments or feedback via email to CSBusinessServices@manchester.gov.uk on or before the 28th October 2016.
Your feedback is important and will be used to influence the final draft of the Strategy that will be shared with you at the end of November 2016.
Many thanks for your assistance.