The Voice of Young People on Safeguarding: Ensuring young people in Cardiff are safe, happy and thrive


A document which sets out clear objectives toimprove the lives of children and young people, whilst presentinggenuine opportunities to empower them to enjoy better lives in Cardiff, has been released.

‘TheVoice of Young People on Safeguarding'has been developed collaboratively between Cardiff Council's Education, Children's and Youth Services. It outlines an approach to safeguarding young people during adolescence and the transition period from child to adult, helping to promote resilience, reduce risks and address harm so that young people can live safely in their families and communities.

Through consultation with young people aged 14-18, a range ofpartners and professionaland TheYoung Creators Group, part of Cardiff Youth Service Digital Teamthe approach was developed withfocus on six goals;

  • Young people feel safe
  • Young people have good health (physical and mental) and wellbeing
  • Both young people and families are educated about risk, the signs to spot and how to resolve them
  • All young people have access to education and activities that will help prepare them for their future
  • A stable home for all young people and provide support within their community
  • Young people to have positive transitionsand providing guidance so that they can overcome their struggles and help to adapt to changes

The vision is that young people living in Cardiff will feel safe and will be safe via a contextual safeguarding approach and the paper stresses the importance of the context in which young people exist, whether that is their neighbourhood, school, on-line or even their stage of development.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "There are almost 22,000 young people in Cardiff aged 11-18 and although the majority of them will flourish and achieve with the support of their families, schools and wider communities, some will require additional or specialist support.

"That is why it was integral that consideration was given to the actual experiences and struggles of young people. They told us what would makethem feel safe in the city, which can gofar beyond what may be ordinarilyconsidered ‘safeguarding'.

Reflecting on the experience, Samar said: "Working on developing the Voice of Young People on Safeguarding has provided me with the opportunity to meet new people and discuss the issues and concerns of young people living in Cardiff. Getting an insight of people's opinions and what others may have been through has made me reflect on the safety of young people and how it can be improved."

The key principles and approaches laid out in TheVoice of Young People on Safeguardingare underpinned by Cardiff Council'sChild Friendly vision which places the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of the city's decision making.

It is also supported by the Cardiff Commitment,a Council initiative that brings together the public, private and third sectors to work in partnership with schools, industry and education providers, to raise awareness of the breadth of career opportunities available in the Cardiff Capital Region, helping develop children and young people's skills to sculpt the future growth for the jobs of tomorrow. 

Cllr Merry added:"The contributions of young people are at the core and they have ownership of this work, helping to further embed Cardiff's commitment to becoming a child friendly city where young people help shape our policies and the future of the city."

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) has recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played as one of the first to join its Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme and that good progress has been made in embedding children's rights into the Council's strategies and the way in which our young people are supported and nurtured.

As a result, UNICEF UK has recommended that Cardiff submits for Child Friendly City recognition in the New Year

To read The Voice of Young People on Safeguarding

As well as contributing to the development of the goals, The Cardiff Youth Service, Young Creators Group have also shared responsibility for the design of the documents and the creation of animated characters to be used to promote the document. You can view thechild friendly animations here: