Children's Bill of Rights

The creation of a San Luis Obispo County Young Children's Bill of Rights is one part of the First 5 San Luis Obispo County Policy Platform contained in the Commission's 2011-15 Strategic Plan (excerpt below). You can view a video of how the Rights were created below.

The First 5 SLO County Policy Platform consists of two parts. The first part concerns First 5 SLO County's intention to develop a San Luis Obispo County Young Children's Bill of Rights and the second part is made up of specific advocacy and policy activities tied to the Commission's five Initiatives.

The Young Children's Bill of Rights will outline specific rights due to children, 0-5, based on their age and developmental status that honor their value to the community and their dignity as fellow individual human beings. This Bill of Rights is to be developed in collaboration with local youth-serving partners, and, of course, with input from families and from youth themselves.

The purposes of this effort are fivefold:

  • Raise awareness of the fundamental importance of children, ages 0-5, in our
  • Summarize the Commission's aspirations for our children.
  • Delineate essential rights that belong to children.
  • Stress the importance of all aspects of development: physical, cognitive,
    behavioral, social, and emotional.
  • Provide a foundation for communitywide advocacy for our children.

Community Conversations were held throughout the county to engage people of all ages in the creative process of identifying core themes and ideas to include in a local Children's Bill of Rights. With each Conversation, the project gained momentum as more and more community members provided input into the structure, content and format of the document.

The writing process to draft the Bill of Rights has involved a "steering group" of adults and youth from throughout the County who bring a variety of perspectives – including education, health, parent advocacy, social service, and housing, among others.

Five leadership organizations in the community were identified as initial "endorsers" and have been invited to join in partnership with First 5 to formally endorse the Children's Bill of Rights and collectively to call for additional endorsements and commitments to act on its principles in the interest of our children. The organizations are the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, the San Luis Obispo County Health Commission, the United Way Youth Board of San Luis Obispo County, the Children's Services Network, and the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors

The public launch of the Children's Bill of Rights for San Luis Obispo County occurred during the first annual SLO County Children's Summit scheduled for April 19, 2013. The summit provided an opportunity to officially unveil the Children's Bill of Rights, to begin the process of inviting additional community endorsements, and to begin the next step of designing an implementation plan that will pursue the ideals stated in the Bill.