Dorset’s Youth Proof Charter


16 children in care and children’s services professionals came together in August 2018 to make this Youth Proof Charter. This charter is for all professionals that work with children and young people. The aim is to help professionals communicate with children and young people in a way they can understand. This includes letters, emails, text messages, forms, surveys posters and websites


1. Ask a question only once

We get really fed up when we get asked the same question over and over and over… If we have given you an answer, use it


2. Write as you speak

We get lots of letters about complicated stuff. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it. Keep the detail to a minimum unless we ask you otherwise.


3. Keep it clear

Have a clear title, put spaces in between your paragraphs and use bullet points! This helps us read the important stuff quickly.


4. Keep it simple

Please don’t ask us the same question twice in a form or at a meeting. Listen to what we say. Talk in a way that everyone can understand; simply and clearly, but please don’t patronise us!


5. Make it accessible

Make your forms easy to read, with sections and colours. Have it available in the format the young person wants it in. Be prepared for meetings and come with the right copy.


6. Where does it go?

Tell us where the information we give you goes, what you will use it for and how we can update it.


7. Reply promptly

If you are going on holiday, text us to tell us. Let us know who to contact whilst you are away and when you will be back.


8. Updatable forms

Have forms that auto-update themselves. We hate writing out the same stuff over and over again.


9. Short sentences

Keep your sentences to no more than 12 words. Don’t use words of 3 syllables or longer


10. Be kind

Be kind when you talk, listen and write to us. We are going through a really tough time.