The child’s voice is a phrase used to describe the real involvement of children and young people. It means more than seeking their views, which could just mean the child saying what they want, rather than being really involved in what happens. Lord Laming said of Victoria Climbié that ‘no-one could describe a day in her life’. Children and young people should have the opportunity to describe things from their point of view.
They should be continually involved, and have information fed back to them in a way that they can understand. There should always be evidence that their ‘voice’ has influenced the decisions that professionals have made. Ask yourself: ‘Do I understand what this child’s life is like, what do they do each day? What do they feel about their lives, how would they want things to change?’.
The child needs to be seen as an active partner who can usefully add to what is being set up. They should not be seen as a passive victim who needs to be saved. The answer may not be to treat the child at the other extreme, but the more you see the child as a passive victim, the less they will be able to influence events.