The Children's Voices Study

AuthorVan Hove, G.; Gradinaru, C.; Morabito, C.; De Schauwer E.; Mattelin, E.
Feasibility Study for a Child Guarantee (FSCG) Children’s Voices
1. The Children’s Voices Study
1.1. The Feasibility Study for a Child Guarantee (FSCG)
Following the call in 2015 from the European Parliament to introduce a Child Guarantee
and the subsequent request to the European Commission (EC) in 2017 to implement a
Preparatory Action to explore its potential scope, the Commission launched a feasibility
study in 2018 that is aimed at examining and making proposals as to how a specific
programme could best be developed in order to fight poverty and social exclusion amongst
the EU’s most disadvantaged children (i.e. children living in precarious family si tuations,
children residing in institutions, children with a migrant background [ including refugee
children], and children with disabilities) and t o ensure their access to the five key social
rights identified by the European Pa rliament, (i.e. free healthcare, free education, free
early childhood education and care [ECEC], decent housing, and adequate nut rition).
This Feasibility Study for a Child Guarantee (FSCG) has been commissioned as a key part
of the Preparatory Action agreed between the EC and the European Parliament. The FSCG
is a combination of 28 Coun try Reports, five Policy Papers (one on each of the five PAs
identified by the Parliament) and four Target Group Discussion Papers (one on each of the
four Target Groups [TGs] identified by the Commission). This work is also being
complemented by specific case studies highlighting lessons from international funding
programmes, an online consultation with key stakeholders, and focus group consultations
with children.
At t he heart of the approach is a focus on producing outputs wh ich conclude with very
concrete, practical, evidence-based and carefully tested proposals for measures that might
be included in a Child Guarantee.
As a result, th e approach also includes focus groups’ consultations with children from the
four Target Groups, offering a reality check and identifying any gaps in the experts’
analyses. It also aims at advising how child participation can be taken into account in the
development and delivery of a future Child Guarantee initiative.
1.2. The objective of the consultation with children
The 2013 EU Recommendation on investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage
recognises the right of the child to participate as its third pillar. Child participation is also
explicitly enshrined as a fundamental right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child.1 In the design of a Child Guarantee, it is essential that children themselves have the
opportunity t o voice thei r opinion and influence the final recommendations so they best
reflect the reality of children’s lives.2
In this respect, consultations were organised within the FSCG in the form of focus groups,
a tried-and-tested approach to enhancing participation, in particular with groups of children
in vulnerable situations. Consultations were carried out in four different countries, each
one focusing on children from one of the identified Target Groups: Italy for children living
in precarious family situations; Sweden for those with a migrant background (including
refugee children); Belgium for children with disabilities; and Romania for children residing
in an institution.
Consultations took place immediately before the thematic FSCG workshops, with the
intention of providing important poin ters to discuss durin g these workshops and to be
integrated into the intermediate report.
1 United Nations. (1990). Convention on the rights of the child.
2 Save the Children. (2016). Young voices want to be heard. Retrieved from https://resourcecentre.Savethe

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