Sandwell Council Cabinet today (Wednesday January 17) confirmed it will apply for UNICEF Child Friendly Borough status.
UNICEF Child Friendly Borough status is internationally recognised. The decision to apply for the status has been made following consultation and discussion with the children and young people in Sandwell’s SHAPE Forum.
A child friendly borough is one that respects and promotes the rights of children and young people and provides them with opportunities to participate in its social, cultural, political and economic life. Developing a child friendly borough involves engaging with children and young people as active citizens, ensuring their safety and well-being, and creating inclusive and accessible spaces and services for them.
The status would not only benefit for children and young people, but also the whole community, as it fosters social cohesion, diversity, sustainability and innovation.
Here is a video of Councillor Simon Hackett Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, Ayyatulahi Adigun – Chair of SHAPE Youth Forum and Briony Alice Jones – Vice Chair of SHAPE Youth Forum talking about the importance of being recognised as a Child Friendly Borough and their experiences of growing up in Sandwell.
The Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, said:
“Sandwell Council has pledged that one of our priorities is that every child has the best possible childhood, regardless of where they live, how much their parents earn, their cultural heritage or their complex needs The challenges for children and young people post pandemic are greater now than ever. Putting children centre stage encourages a conversation about what the future for children and young people living in Sandwell should look like.
“We already have much to be proud of. Current areas of good practice, including the SHAPE FORUM, Sandwell Play Service – Go Play Sandwell, Just Youth website, Poverty Proofing in schools, Corporate Parenting Programme, the Young People’s Corporate Plan, Your Voice – Sandwell Children’s Trust, 21st Century Child programme and the pilot school streets programme to name but a few.”
A Member Working Group will now take this further by overseeing the submission of our Expression of interest and the application process.