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Engaging with children, young people and families

Engaging with children, young people and families

FACTSHEET
Cover of 'An introduction to the local offer' pdf file
Using Makaton to Engage Children And Young People (pdf file, 148kB)
If you are involved with developing and implementing your local offer, you will need to engage with children and young people who use Makaton in your area. Our new factsheet provides ideas for using Makaton as part of the process.

The Children and Families Act 2014, Section 19, sets out the importance of engaging with children, young people and their families so that their views, wishes and feelings are taken into account.

This means that local authorities must include children or young people and their parents actively in determining what the child or young person needs and wants and who should be included in the development and implementation of plans which will enable them to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The code of practice is also clear that children, young people and their parents should be provided with the information, advice and support to enable them to participate in these discussions.

Using Makaton to engage

Today, over 100,000 people use Makaton in the UK which means that you will have children and young people in your area and you will need to use Makaton to engage with them. 70% of children and young people who use Makaton use it every day and it is their main method of communication (see Who uses Makaton?).

Makaton symbols and signs support communication and enable access to information for children at a specialist and also a targeted level of need. In some areas, Makaton is used universally:

  • To develop early communications skills
  • To support access to areas of the curriculum such as literacy and maths
  • With children whose first language is not English

Makaton can be used to explain what is available through your local offer. You can also use it to help you understand what the child or young person needs, likes or dislikes, giving you a better understanding of what support is in place and what is needed.

Using Makaton to engage will help you to improve outcomes for children and young people. It will help them and you to make better choices. It will help parents and children to feel informed and empowered to make choices.

Ideas for using Makaton as part of the process

Through our own experience and the cumulative experience of our tutors , we are gathering examples of how people are using Makaton to engage in the local offer consultation and development process. We are collecting examples and will share these ideas and examples of best practice .

ARK Rose Primary

Young girl signing dinner

"I am so passionate about communication and have seen such amazing breakthroughs with the children, young people and their families that I have taught..."

Read more...

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