Pilot for the National Child Strategy includes children and young people in bill drafting
A pilot strengthening the inclusion of children and young people in drafting the Child Welfare Act will be carried out when implementing the National Child Strategy. The pilot aims to create a model for consulting children and young people in legislative work.
The model will be piloted during the spring of 2021, when the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepares reform of the Child Welfare Act. Young people will be consulted on a few pre-selected topics.
Responsibility for the pilot is vested in a working group that plans and implements the consultations with young people and then reports the consultation results to bill drafters in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. A publication on modelling the consultation of children and young people in bill drafting is due to be completed after the end of the pilot.
“The aim of the Child Strategy is to promote and strengthen the child’s right to inclusion. The objective of the strategy is that children’s inclusion, their right to be heard and access to information are considered systematically, either directly or indirectly, in all decision-making and activities concerning children. In implementing the strategy, tools will be developed for this work, since each child’s voice is both important and valuable, and deserves to be heard,” says Johanna Laisaari, Secretary General of the National Child Strategy.
The aim of the pilot concerning the consultation of the child, as provided in the Child Welfare Act, is to strengthen the right of children and young people who are child welfare clients to participate in the evaluation of their services and also to increase their knowledge of the regulation concerning their status and rights, including the relevant objectives. Young people will be consulted in the further preparation of the proposal.
“The child welfare inclusion pilot offers young people who are child welfare clients the opportunity to be heard on the legislative reform concerning child welfare. The aim of the reform is specifically to develop services meeting the needs of young people. That is why the pilot primarily consults young people,” says Pasi Pollari, the expert in charge of the pilot.
Based on the pilot’s work, a written description of how young people have been consulted will also be compiled. The description is meant to serve as a model in connection with various legislative projects in the future.