Child-Friendly Cities and Communities
The Child Friendly Cities and Communities initiative is led by the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK). The programme was launched on 20 November 2017 - World Children’s Day - following the successful completion of a three year, five-city pilot.
Today, almost 700,000 children in the UK are growing up in a city or community taking part in the programme.
Local authorities wishing to work towards recognition as a Child Friendly City or Child Friendly Community are supported by a specialist team at UNICEF UK. Over the course of three to five years, the team supports local authorities and their partners to achieve measurable progress in practically embedding children’s rights within local systems and services.
Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guide, the UNICEF UK team works collaboratively with local authorities, providing extensive training and guidance to political leaders, social workers, planning teams, frontline staff, community and voluntary organizations, children and young people and more.
The programme aims to profoundly change the way local government works with and for children, so children have a say in decisions that affect them, experience services that are designed with and for them, know what services are available to them, understand how to access and navigate the often complex local systems, and feel safe and prioritised within their cities and communities.
Achieving ‘Child Friendly’ recognition will depend on the city or community’s progress in key areas such as; political commitment to children’s rights, workforce knowledge and understanding of children’s rights, meaningful participation and equal access to services. Thematic areas and impact outcomes are identified at the outset of the journey by the city/community with guidance from UNICEF UK, in line with local needs and context. Progress is assessed through a mixture of self-evaluation, child-led evaluation and ultimately by UNICEF UK supported by an independent panel of experts in human rights, child well-being and public services.