Neath Port Talbot Council’s Youth Service has become one of the first in Wales to sign up to the National Participation Charter.
The Charter demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to the National Standards of Participation when working with children and young people. The standards provide guidance on the best and most meaningful ways of listening and responding to the opinions of children and young people. These include providing useful information, allowing choice, avoiding discrimination, always being respectful, giving them the opportunity to provide feedback, making sure they gain something out of their involvement, and ensuring they are at the centre of decision making.
Councillor Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said:
“I am delighted we have achieved the National Participations Standards Charter Certificate which reaffirms the council’s commitment to putting the views of children and young people at the forefront of our considerations.
“Our team of dedicated youth workers play a significant role in giving young people the opportunity to learn and progress outside of the classroom. Signing up to the Charter will ensure all our workers are aware of the required Standards, and that anyone who engages with our Youth Service will be given the opportunity to have a say in matters that affect them.”
The Council’s Youth Service works with young people aged between 11 and 25 to help develop their personal and social skills through activities such as youth clubs, Duke of Edinburgh Award, a dedicated youth council, school based youth workers and youth workers helping young people into education, employment and training. The Youth
Service also provides provision for LGBT young people.
The next step is to work towards achieving the National Kitemark which will allow the Youth Service to use the Charter logo on all their marketing material. This is awarded to a Service when they successfully demonstrate that it is meeting all the required Standards in the Charter.
The Charter is supported by Welsh Government and administered by Children in Wales, an umbrella body for organisations and individuals who work with children, young people and their families in Wales. The Standards are underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which puts the involvement of children at the heart of improving well-being.
Lynne Hill, Policy Director for Children in Wales, said:
“We are delighted to see that Neath Port Talbot Youth Service have completed and signed-off the National Participations Standards Charter Certificate.
“In Wales, the Children and Young People’s National Participation Standards help organisations and individuals to ensure the quality and experience of all work involving the participation of children and young people. The Participation Standards identify the seven key issues that all workers should be aware of when working with children and young people in Wales. The new National Participation Charter is used by organisations and services to illustrate their commitment to children’s rights and participation. It also highlights local practice and supports the future reporting of Well-being Plans. The National Participation Charter is intended to be a statement of intent to illustrate that organisations / services are working in line with the National Participation Standards. On signing the Charter organisations will be encouraged to complete the full National Participations Kitemark Award”