Every process has a beginning and this report sets out, in detail, the beginning of the development of the first whole of government Strategic Plan for Children and Young People in NSW.
Under the Advocate for Children and Young People Act 2014, the Advocate is mandated to prepare, in consultation with Minister John Ajaka MLC, a three-year whole of government Strategic Plan for Children and Young People. Promoting the participation of children and young people in decision making is central to the role of the office of the Advocate for Children and Young People and as such it was essential to ensure not only that the voices of children and young people inform the first Strategic Plan but that children and young people had the first say on setting the themes and directions of the Plan.
Our commitment to ensuring that the voices of children and young people feature in the Strategic Plan led us to consult with more than 4,000 children and young people in NSW. In this report you will discover the results of our consultations along with the methods employed to engage such a vast number in the consultation process and the learnings we take from the process.
Consulting with more than 4,000 children and young people in a meaningful way is certainly no easy feat and we are indebted to the many government and non-government organisations who came forward with their support and assistance in engaging children and young people through their networks and of course a special thanks to the children and young people who took part in the consultations.
All participants in the consultation process contributed their time voluntarily; the willingness and enthusiasm displayed by children and young people not only in committing their time to engage in the consultations but also the meaningful contributions they made are an overwhelming reminder of the value of participation.
The first whole of government Strategic Plan for Children and Young People in NSW is significant progress in the NSW Government’s commitment to making the lives of our youngest citizens better. Through positive collaboration across government departments the Plan aims to bring about positive and tangible change for children and young people.
Throughout the pages of this report you will gain insight into how children and young people in NSW view what is already being done to assist them in every day life and you will also find out what they feel the NSW Government can do or change to further enhance their experience of growing up in NSW.