Behind the scenes: Children, Young People and Families’ Plan 2024-2027

By Elaine Walker, Associate Director, Participation and Engagement (CYPES)

Having a clear vision of what you want in life can help you to make better decisions and can even have profound benefits for your health, happiness and financial security, according to research.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now and with so much change and uncertainty, having a vision and looking into the future seems more important than ever.

That doesn’t mean dusting off the crystal ball or checking your daily horoscope. Many people, leaders, businesses, charities, schools and Governments set themselves a goal or a vision.

The Government of Jersey has today set out its vision for children, young people and families, which has been co-created with partners from the private and voluntary sectors and more importantly, children and young people themselves.

The Children, Young People and Families’ Plan (2024-2027) has been published and the vision is for all children and young people to have an equal opportunity to be safe, flourish and fulfil their potential.

So how can this vision be turned into reality?

Under the new Children and Young People (Jersey) Law, the Government has a duty to prepare and publish a strategic plan for children and young people every four years.

This Children, Young People and Families’ Plan provides the framework behind Government programmes and strategies to promote and support the wellbeing and safeguard children and young people.

This Plan is intended to enable joint working and commissioning of services from the private and voluntary sectors who play a vital role in children and families’ lives.

As the author Jim Collins of ‘Good to Great’ said: “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

Safeguarding children and young people is everyone’s responsibility and the Government cannot achieve this vision alone. There are some great people in Government and across Jersey who can do this together.

The Children’s Outcomes Executive Committee (COEC) will monitor and have oversight of the outcomes identified in the Plan.

CYPF Plan Team: Dr Natalie Kemp, Elaine Walker and Gemma McGregor

It’s been an exciting journey being part of the development and publication of the Youth Friendly version of the Plan, working in partnership with colleagues from across Government, Ministers and charities who play a vital role in the lives of children and the family.

There has been a real sense of commitment and engagement from all those who work with children and young people and families, the current and previous Ministers, Scrutiny members and colleagues in various departments.

It was such a privilege to work with the children and young people themselves, alongside colleagues from CYPES Participation and Engagement and Children’s Policy, to hear exactly what they have to say and find out what issues are important to them.

Engagement with the School Council Network

Involving children and young people in decision making is a key priority for the Government of Jersey and the new Participation Standards for engaging with children and young people has been an important part of this journey.

The new Children, Young People and Families’ Plan includes feedback from children and young people on what is important in their lives.

The launch of this plan follows about 18 months of work, involving a series of workshops with key government departments, community voluntary sector agencies and children and young people.

The Children’s Policy team have been instrumental in leading this major piece of work, alongside the Children’s Outcomes Executive Committee (COEC), made up of Ministers, senior Government officials and charity representatives.

During a COEC meeting last year, it was agreed to examine what children and young people have been consulted on over the last few years and feedback on what they have said.

In that meeting, Jersey’s Acting Children’s Commissioner, at the time, said that “capturing the opinions of children and engaging with young people should be embedded across every Government department as it was everyone’s responsibility” and the Participation Standards provided a guide for best practice.

The COEC was also informed of the importance of giving children and young people the recognition for giving their time and provided them with feedback on what actions were taken in response to their contributions.

So as part of the development of this Children, Young People and Families’ Plan, dozens of surveys and consultations were examined through a thematic research and mapping exercise to investigate what issues are important to children and young people in Jersey.

It was clear from examining both the Government and independent reports, from various organisations such as the Children’s Commissioner’s Office, Youth Parliament, Children and Young People Survey, that there is still a common theme being expressed by youngsters today.

These include:

  • More places to play
  • Affordable or free activities
  • Cheaper food and housing

In line with the Participation Standards, we worked with children and young people from the School Council Network – which has recently been relaunched by the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department (CYPES).

Creating Jersey’s School Council Network was a recommendation from the Independent Care Inquiry, which offers students who have been elected by their peers to meet students from other School Councils across the Island and to learn from each other.

We have also created an online training course for all School Councils, which helps them to learn about their Rights, Participation Standards and why it’s important to have their say and receive feedback on consultations and surveys.

Around 150 students took part in an interactive School Council Network meeting, earlier this year, at Highlands College, to discuss the five big goals in the Children, Young People and Families’ Plan and what the Government should spend money on.

Money tree engagement activity was popular

Here’s a summary of their responses to the questions – which can read in full in the Participation and Engagement Report.

What does it mean to you to be Happy and Healthy?

• More places to play • Cheap healthy food • Free clubs and activities.

What does it mean to you to Learn and Achieve?

• Setting learning goals and working hard • More Design Technology (DT) and Art subjects • Free after-school tuition and after-school clubs.

What does it mean to you to have a Good Standard of Living?

• Cheaper food and housing • Having a home, food and drink • More shelters for homeless people.

What does it mean to you to feel Safe and Loved?

• Living in a safe and happy home • Feeling safe and not bullied • Loving family.

What does it mean to you to feel Included, Respected and Valued?

• Protect the environment – stop littering and recycle plastics • Having a voice and an opportunity to be heard and listened to • Treat others how you would like to be treated.

In recognition for their time and contribution to the plan, we invited those children and young people to an event at Jump Jersey to see the Children, Young People and Families Plan before it was made public and play together.

School Council students with Jump Jersey and Bosdet Foundation members

The School Councils who couldn’t attend the event, on that day, will all receive a certificate and a voucher for Jump Jersey, thanks to a partnership between Bosdet Foundation and CYPES.

Alan Le Pavoux, Charity Manager for the Bosdet Foundation, said: “The Bosdet Foundation and Les Ormes were pleased to invite all the incredible young people who have contributed to developing the new Children, Young People and Families’ Plan to Jump Jersey to celebrate their achievement. 

“With our focus firmly on supporting children and families, we are keen to see how this plan will deliver improvements to the lives of our children. We are particularly looking forward to seeing better access to play facilities and opportunities to engage in activities from birth onwards supporting the holistic development of all young people into the adults of the future.”

A special thanks to the children and young people from the School Council Network and their teachers for their participation in the Plan and fantastic feedback.

The aim of this Plan is to show what the Government, charities and partners are doing to try and improve the lives of children, young people and families, in Jersey, over the next four years through a shared vision that all children should have an equal opportunity to be safe, flourish and fulfil their potential.

Here you can read the Youth Friendly Plan and more importantly the feedback from children and young people: Children and Young People’s Plan 2024 to 2027 (

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