Posted: 20 June 2014

Giving children a voice in Birmingham

We recently helped launch the Birmingham Commission for Children, an independent panel of experts with over 100 years'experience of working with children, young people and their communities. The commission aims to discover how the city can improve children’s health and well-being. It is also designed to challenge and scrutinise the council’s plans to develop new services to support children and young people.

From early years to apprenticeships and from child health to community work, the five commissioners are committed to supporting children in Birmingham to have the best possible childhood.

The commission will be guided by a simple question: 'Over the next ten years, what change would children and young people in Birmingham like to see in their lives?'

The answer will not be simple

Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority in Europe, home to more than 300,000 children with over 30% living in poverty.

The commission will feature teachers, parents, health visitors and, most importantly, hundreds of young people in the city.

To get the information the commission needs, the commissioners will hold seven public meetings and travel around Birmingham to learn more about the lives of children and their experiences. The public meetings planned are diverse and will focus on topics like getting into work, health and well-being, schools, early years, community and early intervention.

The commissioners will also hold a special meeting with the Birmingham members of the UK Youth Parliament. This session promises to be very interesting as the young people will be setting the agenda and inviting the people they want to hear from on issues they care about. It’s another way we are working to ensure that young people’s voices are heard.

Have your voice heard

To support the commission’s work, we are running a citywide call for views, and we want to hear from you. Whether you work with children, have children or are under 18 yourself, ensure your voice is heard.

Our call for views closes on 30 June so be sure to get your opinions to us as soon as possible.

By Richard Crellin - Policy team

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