4.5 What are child-friendly health standards?

A good way to ensure the development of child-friendly heath care is to develop child-friendly health standards. This should be done with the participation of everyone at the health facility and ideally also with members of the community, including children. This will help to ensure that the standards are accepted by everyone.

Creating standards and protocols in your facilities that promote respect for children, is a way to support improving the well-being of children. Health workers can ensure that guidelines and standards for promoting respect for children in the health facilities are established and followed. There are both international and national standards in health care systems that can be used to develop your facility-based standards for children. In the next section we will explore different standards and guidelines that can be established to improve the experience of children in health facilities.

Child-friendly standards are the minimum requirements necessary for enabling a child to access services in a health facility without discrimination and in a safe and friendly environment. They help to ensure that through awareness, good practice and robust systems and procedures, staff and other representatives are able to keep children safe and can access health services without any inhibitions. Child-friendly standards can work hand-in-hand with a child protection policy and, as you will see later, with a children’s charter.

4.4 What is your own health facility like?

Why should you implement child-friendly health standards?