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How to involve children in case planning

Give children the opportunity to share their ideas on what needs to change.

Give children and young people the information they need to understand the case plan and why certain decisions have been made. Children should participate directly, but if they are unable to (such as in the case of infants) you must still approach case planning from the child’s perspective. Always advocate on their behalf and ensure their voice is clearly heard.


“It is not necessary that the child has comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of the matter affecting her or him, but that she or he has sufficient understanding to be capable of appropriately forming her or his own views on the matter.”

Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2009

When case planning with children

  • Help children understand what is happening. The simple formula of who is worried, what they are worried about and why is a good place to start.
  • Let children know what is happening, what decisions have been made and why.
  • As much as possible, include children in decisions that affect their lives.
  • Speak about parents in a positive way while being honest and real.
  • Help children understand ‘dependence’, so they can make sense of why their parent needs help. Read more about this in Working with children.

Ask each child in a family:

  • what they want to know
  • what worries them the most
  • what they need from you, parents and others to feel okay about what is happening.

Practice prompt

Use tools such as the The Three Houses Tool and The Future House to help children express themselves.

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