Young people’s views at the heart of new Safeguarding Charter

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Date: 23/05/2016

More than 200 young people in the Wakefield district have given their views and ideas to help create a Children and Young People's Safeguarding Charter.

The document outlines young people's expectations of how health and social care agencies and police can support young people so they can do well and thrive. Young people have stressed that they want to be listened to, kept safe, taken seriously and be treated with care and respect.

The Children and Young People's Safeguarding Charter was officially launched at the Hepworth Wakefield by Wakefield and District Safeguarding Board, of which Wakefield Council is a member.

Young people attended the event including local members of the Youth Parliament and the members of the Youth Association which gave them further opportunities to share their views in person and through a DVD.

Edwina Harrison, Independent Chair of the Wakefield and District Safeguarding Board, said: "Young people's views are at the heart of this Charter which will help agencies to understand their needs. It will guide organisations in the way they train staff and how they respond to young people. There has been a really positive response from the agencies represented on the Safeguarding Board and they have already come up with lots of great ideas about how the Charter will be put into practice."

Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Wakefield Council, said: "I am pleased so many young people have been involved and given us the information we need, so we know what matters to them, and can incorporate this into professional practice."

The Safeguarding Charter was created with the help of 224 young people who took part in discussions.

The Charter also sets out a series of pledges that apply to all staff working with young people including making a personal commitment to be professional, to be trained, to know what to do and to show respect and understanding.

Organisations signed up to the Charter, including Wakefield Council, health and social care agencies including the voluntary sector have all made a commitment to demonstrate and show evidence of how they are putting the principles into practice over the coming years.