Celebrating Success: Content Design in the Children’s Sector

Robyn Barclay

Robyn Barclay

29 September 2023 | Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Three children hold hands in a field

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a roundtable initiative designed to improve content design in the children’s sector.

These roundtables started in November 2022 while Third Sector Lab was doing some work with CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland.

The initiative is now owned by the organisations themselves, including Barnardo’s, Media Co-op, Scottish Youth Parliament, Princes Trust, Youthlink Scotland and others. 

Our Hearings, Our Voice

Wednesday’s roundtable was co-hosted by Our Hearings, Our Voice, an independent children and young people’s board for the Children’s Hearings System, and CELCIS.

The roundtable brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including content designers, communications professionals, and young people. The aim was for participants to share their insights on how to create content that is engaging, accessible, and relevant to children.

One of the key themes that emerged from the discussion was the importance of co-production. Co-production is an approach to service delivery that puts children and young people at the heart of the process. It means that children and young people are involved in all aspects of decision-making, from the design of the service to its delivery.

The Language Leaders project, facilitated by Our Hearings, Our Voice, is a great example of co-production in action. The project brought together a group of young people who have been through the Children’s Hearings System to work with language experts to develop a new language guide for the system.

During the roundtable, the Language Leaders shared a powerful poem written by one of their members, Achilles. 

The Language Leaders also shared their ingenious idea of “binning” words that children in the hearings system don’t like. This is a simple but effective way to ensure that the language used in the system is respectful and accessible to young people.

Their live demonstration of this feature was a fantastic example of collaborative participation work that really valued the input of young people. It was clear that the Language Leaders were passionate about making the Children’s Hearings System a more positive experience for children.

I am excited to see how the roundtable initiative will continue to improve content design in the children’s sector. By working together with children and young people, we can create content that is more engaging, accessible, and relevant to their needs.


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