There are many cohorts of children and young people in the UK who are not within mainstream society and those who are recognisable and visible as such, however through circumstance have no ability or opportunity to engage with those they would wish to for a wealth of individual or other reasons. Children and young people are unable to find support and safety or have no audible voice to do so.
Many live in ‘ungoverned spaces’. Society does not have access or visibility of the lives they are living, alone or with others, and as such cannot intervene when necessary, prevent harm or divert them from need, harm and risk. Many of these children and young people likewise have no ability, opportunity or confidence to engage with those in society who wish to hear their ‘voice’ for a variety of reasons such as peer pressure, fear and violence as well as poverty, exclusion from education and when involved in crime or when being trafficked. Each child and young person have the same rights under the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) but many in the UK are in a situation or life spaces where they have not afforded them in part or full.
Technology is changing the way we construct our social relationships, but it has not done away with our very human need to form physical communities that we feel connected to. Parents, professionals and communities must engage children and young people in a meaningful way that makes sense in their world to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Meaningful engagement and participation can contribute to strengthened social relationships and networks, which, in turn, increase the likelihood of good mental and physical health and wellbeing. It promotes cooperation, awareness of local issues and the reduction of social isolation, all of which contributes to a shared sense of community pride and identity.
Nib Shared Vision’s #voc #childsvoice ensures the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child are known and afforded to children and young people through inclusion, participation and articulation of their voice. #voc #childsvoice helps to create social and cultural bonds within groups and communities. It ensures that children and young peoples voice and lived experience is understood and visible.