We involve children and young people in decisions that affect their lives

Nobody knows better than children and young people what their lives are really like. We're here to listen to them and help them get the support they need. We're serious about that.

Empowering young people

Children and young people don’t always feel comfortable speaking out, especially if they’ve had difficult experiences in the past.

We're committed to helping them to make sure their voice is heard in a way that feels safe to them, and in a way that helps them feel stronger and more able to recover when they face challenges in their lives.

We're passionate about supporting young people to have a say in Barnardo's, in their communities, and beyond.

    Developing and running better services

    We listen to children and young people to find ways of improving the services we offer them. We use their views to shape our work and tell others, like the government, what's important, too.

    The more we involve children and young people in developing and running our services, the better those services will meet their needs. 

    What young people are telling us

    • waiting time targets for mental health services are a major concern 
    • good relationships and sex education in schools – where no question or topic is off limits – would help them to learn about relationships in a structured way
    • they want to talk about LGBTQ+ relationships and gender identities in relationships, sex and health education 

    Next steps

      We're on a journey with these young people to:

      • help them be listened to
      • grow their confidence
      • give them more opportunities to have a say

      We’re developing a range of interactive digital services for young people, so they can talk to us directly from their phones, tablets or laptops. So they can tell us what's important to them.​​​​​​

      Needs and support during and after Coronavirus

      Survey to children and young people who use Barnardo’s services

      At the beginning of May, 71 young people who use Barnardo’s services (age 13-25) told their support workers about how Coronavirus and the lockdown was affecting them personally, and what they wanted to change. The summary provides an overview of their views.

      The results of this survey are very important to us and will be used in a number of ways. For example, some people who took part have told us that they would like to take part in future voice & influence work, such as telling MPs directly about their experiences or contributing to our reports. In addition to this, the decision makers at Barnardo’s have made a commitment to think about what young people have told us in the survey, to use what they have heard to make changes for the better and to update this page of the website with how they are getting on.

      If you have any further thoughts or views that you would like to share at this time, please discuss these with your project worker who can pass them on to the Voice & Influence team and someone will then follow this up with you.

      Finding Your Voice toolkit

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      Finding Your Voice is a toolkit for supporting and enhancing children’s and young people’s voice in schools and their communities. The toolkit is intended to put children and young people at the centre of decision making. It enables adults to support them to conduct a research and action project in order to make changes in their community on things which matter to them.​​​​​​

      The toolkit has been developed for children by children as part of the Children First approach. Children First is a Welsh Government approach that aims to encourage the local community and organisations to work together to address the specific needs of children and young people from cradle to career.

      Finding Your Voice is designed to be as straightforward and easy to use as possible. It contains session plans, guidance and resources to enable organisations to facilitate an action research project with children and young people.

      Finding your voice toolkit - English

      Finding your voice toolkit - Welsh

      Millbrook puzzle - English

      Millbrook puzzle - Welsh