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Children in Scotland joins campaign to put children at the heart of policy making

Children in Scotland has given its support to a campaign that aims to put babies, children and young people at the heart of policy making. Children At The Table led by The Children’s Charities Coalition, a partnership of leading UK children’s charities: Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society, the National Children’s Bureau and NSPCC, is a collaboration with young people and has the support of over 100 charities.

New data released by the Coalition highlights that children feel politicians don’t understand their lives and aren’t listening to them as the country prepares for a general election. The charities surveyed 1,000 children and 1,000 adults and the results from children found that:

  • 62% of UK children think that politicians don’t understand the issues that affect children and young people today.
  • Almost three quarters (73%) don’t feel that children are listened to by politicians.
  • 66% don’t feel they have a say when it comes to decisions politicians make about things which are important to them.

When asked what they would like politicians to focus on to improve children and young people’s lives, more than a quarter of children (27%) said helping families struggling with money and having the basic things they need. Nearly one in five (18%) want children and young people’s mental health prioritised.

Childhood health and wellbeing is also a concern for adults, most of whom don’t think that children today are safer, happier or healthier than when they were children and only 16% think politicians fully or mostly understand the issues that affect children and young people.

Children are a priority for people across the UK, with 84% of adults saying that they think it’s important for political parties to outline their plans for children and young people in their manifestos.

It’s estimated that more than 1 in 4 UK children live in poverty and 1.4 million are thought to have a mental health disorder. Research from The Children’s Society last November found that an estimated 1 in 5 children (20%) are worried about how much money their family has, while half are ‘sometimes’ worried (52%).

David Mackay, Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, at Children in Scotland said:

"Children in Scotland has spent over three decades embedding children's voices in policy making, and looking at the results  of this survey it is clear that this work has never been more important. We are delighted to support the Children At The Table Campaign, with the strong belief that it is only through engaging children and young people in meaningful, ongoing dialogue that we can get to the heart of the issues that most affect them, and therefore make worthwhile decisions for change."

The campaign asks that the next Prime Minister and Chancellor be champions for children - by putting their needs and voices at the heart of decision making.

To support the Children At The Table campaign, please visit and sign their petition.

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