Reframing Childhood: the final report of the Childhood Policy Programme

An image of the report's title page - typographic design, with yellow background and white font featuring a stock image of father and daughter adjusting a picture frame on the wall
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This final report from the Childhood Policy Programme is centred around three themes that emerged from the programme’s first phase. First, being a child versus becoming an adult explores where the balance lies in policy between focusing on children as children and on focusing on children in terms of their future adulthood. The second theme investigates children’s rights approaches in relation to policy formation, delivery, and enactment across the UK. The final theme is that of children’s voice and participation, focusing on how children’s voices, in their diversity, can be successfully incorporated into policy.

The programme has also had a cross-cutting focus on inequalities. We have aimed to think about a wide range of inequalities, including, but not limited to, economic inequalities, and to consider outcomes for particular groups of children. The programme has also been underpinned by a commitment to examine all four parts of the UK.

Following a consideration of the three themes, the report sets out seven evidence-informed principles for those working in the policy ecosystem:

  1. Rebalance perspectives of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ in policymaking
  2. Increase awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its benefits for existing policy agendas
  3. Take a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to children’s rights
  4. Incorporate children’s voices into the development and evaluation of childhood policy, wherever possible
  5. Join up policymaking across all departments and levels of government
  6. Communicate policy that has an impact on children in child-friendly ways
  7. Monitor the impact of existing policies on children

We hope that these principles, which are not set in stone, will prompt discussion and debate on childhood policy, including the way children are conceptualised in policy and the role they play in the policymaking process.

A full overview of this programme can be found on the main Childhood Policy Programme webpage.

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