Decision details

Update on the Development of a Children’s Services Belonging Framework

Decision status: Recommendations Approved



This paper provides an update about our work to develop a Belonging Framework.


As a reminder, we are developing a Belonging Framework to drive change - so that everything we do is focussed on developing and deepening children and young people’s sense of belonging.


Children and young people’s views will be central to the development of our Belonging Framework and will be at the heart of all we do.


Belonging links to our strategic priorities in the Sheffield City Council Plan 2024 – 2028, Together we get things done. In particular, to the first priority outcome:


A place where all children belong and all young people can build a successful future.




RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Education, Children and Families Policy Committee:-


1.     acknowledges our update and endorses our next steps;


2.     continues to be proactive in the development of the belonging framework, including the proposed engagement plan;


3.     notes that the development of the framework continues to be an iterative process as we gain the views of children and young people in ways that work best for them, and review and refine the framework and next steps based on this; and


4.     notes the continued intention for an ongoing conversation with the Committee about belonging, including a further update presented at the Committee meeting in Summer 2024.




Reasons for Decision




A Belonging Framework will ensure that everything we do is focussed on developing or deepening children and young people’s sense of belonging. It will be designed so that other parts of the Council and other organisations can review and “attach” their contribution to belonging to the framework.




Our approach to engagement and plans for consultation will mean that we can carry out authentic consultation with children and young people. It will also ensure that we can fully explore Belonging with other stakeholders, listening to their views and allowing us to develop other opportunities for engagement as they present themselves.




Outcomes for the Belonging Framework will have a qualitative and quantitative focus. They will be developed iteratively through the process of co-production. These outcomes may relate to individual experience, happiness, fulfilment, purpose, stability and will relate back to our vision, however we will be led by what children and young people tell us.




Alternatives Considered and Rejected




The alternative options are to consult young residents on a smaller scale but more quickly or to use feedback we have already received and not seek any more.




We do not recommend either of these approaches given feedback from the Youth Cabinet which has informed our approach and how vital it is to the development of a meaningful Belonging Framework that we carry out authentic consultation that reflects a wide range of children and young people’s views. The volume of consultation that we anticipate will be achieved by the Young Residents’ Survey, will give us a much wider reach and in doing so provide feedback that reflects the personality and diversity of the city.




When children and young people feel a sense of belonging and sense of pride in their families, their peers, and their communities, they can be emotionally strong, self-assured, and able to deal with challenges and difficulties. This creates an important foundation for their learning and development. Positive messages about their families, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and languages help children and young people to develop pride in who they are. These messages also give them confidence to voice their views and opinions, to make choices, and to help shape their own learning, development and future.


Publication date: 26/03/2024

Date of decision: 19/03/2024

Decided at meeting: 19/03/2024 - Education, Children and Families Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: