Involving children, young people and family voice in committees

This booklet, directly informed by staff and RCPCH &Us committee representatives, offers a shared understanding and agreement for best practice when involving children, young people and their families in your committee.

The voices of children, young people and their families play a key role in influencing the College's work, and help us achieve standards for the best quality in paediatric care.

Having a clear and supportive mechanism in place will enable the best possible opportunity for children, young people and parents/carers to join committees, helping to ensure a meaningful experience.

“Parent/carers and young people provide a vital grounding and reality check, often understanding how things are “working” in reality rather than in policies.”

RCPCH &Us parent/carer representative

Key themes

  • Accessibility and flexibility
  • Clarity of purpose
  • Having a clearly defined engagement model
  • Support

Key messages

One size does not fit all. Every child, young person and parent/carer is different and may need different support, materials or preferences to confidently share their voice.

  • Right people – Whom do you need to hear from? Children? Young people? Parents/carers? Siblings? A particular experience, condition or background?
  • Right place – Where is the best environment to find out what children, young people and family’s views are? Could you meet children and young people in their setting, on their terms and share their voice with your committee?
  • Right time – Children, young people and families have multiple commitments to juggle including their voluntary role with your committee. To maximise lay voice within your committee, could you meet in school holidays, twilight sessions or at weekends to avoid them having to miss school, college or work?
  • Right model – Could a new approach create a more meaningful and relevant way to have voice in your committee that makes a difference? Maybe an RCPCH &Us project or running a challenge day rather than having a traditional lay representative?

A committee specific engagement plan is needed; development will be fully supported by the RCPCH CYP Engagement Team.

For more details, case studies and information, please download the full report.