We work to ensure that the voice of children, young people and families is making a difference in child health and healthcare.
RCPCH &Us: the voice of children, young people and families
Children and young people need everyone who is involved in the work of the College and the child health sector to protect and promote their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) . Services need to meet their needs through active engagement. Our staff, teams and members will therefore involve children and young people meaningfully in developing and delivering College priorities.
Children and young people are central to our work, driving everything we do. They make a difference by working with us and our community of members to shape policy and advocacy, inform education, training and practice, and develop quality improvement programmes. The children and young people involved in turn develop skills for life, enabling them to make a lasting difference.
We will continue to lead the way in involving children and young people in our work, acting as a role model for others. We will challenge assumptions about what children and young people can do and where they should participate. We will continue to place them at the heart of our community, listening and responding to their ideas, and create accessible, aspirational, and meaningful opportunities for them to change the world they live in.
We will amplify children and young people’s voices and rights within child health through consultation and engagement programmes, empowering them to inform, influence and shape better care, better outcomes, and better paediatricians.
The RCPCH &Us Network is for children, young people, parents and carers; created to actively seek and share their views to influence and shape policy and practice. The approach incorporates a mixed methods model, from micro-volunteering in clinic chats (5-10 minutes involvement) where children and young people can share their experiences to help inform policy or processes, through to one-off taster sessions (2-3 hours) or via regular projects that meet frequently through the course of the programme.
Every piece of work where children and young people’s insight, input and support are required, needs to have a bespoke engagement plan, which considers the different needs, interests and models of delivery that works best for those involved. This will ensure engagement meets both the needs of the group and the service, whilst retaining a rights-based approach, and always remembering to make it fun and developmental for the young people involved.
More about our engagement methodology.
Our work includes projects, events, activities and sharing news to educate, collaborate, engage and change services for the better. The RCPCH &Us Network includes:
- &Us News through our social media channels and eNewsletter
- &Us Roadshows across the UK to find out what children and young people from all ages and backgrounds think about child health topics
- &Us Challenges bringing together groups of children, young people and/or parents and carers for the day to work together on a topic, review the Roadshow information and come up with ideas and solutions
- &Us Projects where children, young people and families get involved over a longer time to work on turning ideas into products and developing new solutions to challenges
Since we started in 2015, over 8000 children, young people and family members volunteered 1000s hours on projects and activities looking at experiences with long term conditions such as epilepsy or health policy areas like indoor air quality, even reviewing evidence and writing their own recommendations and responses on topics like COVID-19, on what keeps children and young people healthy, happy or well or their needs for the work force of the future. There are lots of different ways you can get involved, from volunteering online as a one off or joining a regular project. Get in touch to find out more!
The Children and Young People's Engagement Team also delivers information, advice and guidance for trainees, paediatricians and healthcare professionals about working with children and young people and involving them in strategic decision making.
The Engagement Collaborative is free to join and provides members with:
- e-newsletters including the latest research, best practice, funding and news about participation and engagement in child health services
- free resources to support engagement of children and young people
- coaching and engagement planning support.
Organisations can also commission the team to deliver engagement activity in their settings. To find out more, please contact email@example.com.
More about working with children, young people and families
The Children and Young People's Engagement Team can be contacted through the following:
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube - search "RCPCH and Us" or "RCPCH &Us"
020 7092 6000