ChildFair State Young Leader Deborah reflects on the values and approaches children and young people want from a ChildFair State

A society run from a more humanistic and environmental perspective

That individual circumstances are taken into account when changes happen

A world full of love, respect and tolerance of diversity

This is just a sample of the visions young people have for the future, not just to improve their lives of but their communities as a whole. Throughout our discussions we developed values and approaches which were frequently highlighted regardless of the topic or branch of the welfare state being discussed. Young people believed that for effective change to happen values such as citizenship, love and kindness, interdependence and lived experiences being mutually valid would need to underpin all decision processes. That all services in the welfare system should have tethers which keep the service user as a whole person with nuanced experiences and not just multiple case numbers, linking with the approach of holistic frameworks to cater to individual needs. Valuing the insight lived experience can bring to transform feedback, creating connections between decision makers and people and allowing communities to take the lead in moulding resources to be reflective and adaptive. Most importantly empowering all faculties of society with solid and relevant knowledge of their rights and entitlements, while centring the welfare state in kindness, shifting from a punishment label with shame and limiting beliefs due to a sense of scarcity, to a system of dignity and universality.

Deborah, 20