Organisations give clear, early messages to the community about the opportunities for children, young people and their families/carers to participate and engage, the reasons for doing this and the skills, knowledge, diversity and experience needed, whether training is available and the accessibility of the engagement. At all stages participants are kept updated.

This can be done by presentations and talking to groups, one- to- one interviews, public meetings, networking events, user panels, on-line groups and written information in the form of leaflets or websites.

It is important to help children and young people feel that they are supported to be informed. Here are some further resources to download.


Organisations carry out conversations when there is going to be a significant change to children and young people’s services, particularly if the changes have significant impact on children and young people’s ability to access or receive the benefits of the proposed change to services. A conversation makes sure that the voices of children and young people and their families are reflected in decisions being made about the proposed changes.

This can be done by:


Organisations have identified all the ways that children, young people and their families can become involved in looking at ways to improve services from networking events, customer satisfaction, staff recruitment, mystery shopping, contributing to strategy and policy and working on commissioning processes.

This can be done by:

Doing it together (co-design and co-produce)

Organisations create an environment of trust and respect between the children, young people and their families and the services they use, which draws on personal experiences to be able to work together creatively and productively from start to finish. This gives an honest insight into the care and support they are receiving and lays a template for both individual care and service improvement. All views are equal, and all participants will be given the information they need to make informed decisions. Solutions are created, overseen and reviewed by the whole of the group.

This can be done by:


Organisations will tell children and young people and their families how their involvement has been used and the outcomes. They will be able to see the difference that their involvement has made. This will include:


Organisations need to be able to evidence that the participation and engagement of children, young people and their families has achieved its proposed outcomes and led to service improvement.

This can be done by:

Planning Meaningful Engagement with Children and Young People

Useful questions to ask yourself when planning to engage:

  • Why are you engaging?
  • What do you need to know?
  • Who should be involved?
  • When is the best time?
  • Where is the best place?

You can find the Planning Checklist here

After or during the engagement:

  • Analyse the findings
  • Close the loop by feedback to everyone who took part
  • Evaluate the engagement by learning what worked well and whether you met your objectives and outcomes.

You can find the Engagement Checklist here

Other ways for children and young people and their families to get involved:

What we mean by participation
Why we want to engage