Child and Youth Impact Assessment Tool

July 05, 2023 in Resources

Every day, adults make decisions, pass laws and deliver services. Some of the decisions and laws can have a direct impact on the lives of children and young people, some are indirect. Either way, the views of children and young people are often not considered, and their voices are generally not heard.

A Child and Youth Impact Assessment Tool (CYIAT) is a voluntary process that enables governments and organisations to identify, analyse and assess the impacts of any proposed law or policy on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people. While it might take longer, the results benefit everyone in the community.

What is a Child and Youth Impact Assessment Tool?

CYIATs are similar to environmental impact assessment in that they provide a step-by-step process for policymakers to systematically consider the effects of a proposed policy on children and to incorporate the results into their decision-making.

This includes a requirement to obtain the views of children and young people. Impacts identified in CYIATs can be direct or indirect, short, medium or long term, positive, negative or neutral.

CYIATs are successful when they consider whether a proposal may impact a group of children and young people more than the general population based on age, gender, abilities, location, cultural background and if they are vulnerable or disadvantaged.

Who should undertake a child impact assessment?

All government departments, service providers and private sector organisations should assess the impact of proposed laws, policies, projects and their programs on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people. Schools, local governments and any child-based organisation must always ask children their views and incorporate their feedback.

Children have told us that is important for them to feel valued. Many children said they felt valued by the parents, siblings and friends but less so by their teachers and the school principal.

Curtin University’s A Child’s Voice research report recommended the school leadership and school community to consider in their future planning, learning, teaching, assessment, and relationship-building.

  • Make student voice and views visible and embedded at all levels and an integral part of the school’s strategic direction.
  • Ensure play has a strong emphasis within the whole-school culture, inclusive of all students and extended to the staff cohort.
  • Create, sustain, and communicate methods of support for all children of different ages, needs, and identities throughout the school.
  • Design projects in partnership with students aimed at connecting with their community and facilitate their safe participation in enacting change.


Children and young people feel valued when we consider them and ask their opinions. Conversely, they don’t feel valued when they are ignored.

Adults make decisions and implement policies that impact children all the time. Did you know that there is no requirement for policymakers to consider how policies will impact children, either now or in the future? There is also no requirement to ask children and young people what they think about important issues.

Children aged 0-14 years represent 18.7% of the Australian community. Children and young people are key stakeholders, and we believe their needs, views and interests should be duly considered by decision makers.

Children and young people are directly impacted by policy decisions in education, child protection, health, justice, climate change, disability, social housing, childcare, migration, urban planning, and regional development. Sometimes the impact on children is indirect but no less important.

Embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) ratified in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) General Comment No. 14, para 99, CYIATs will:

  • See children as active rights holders rather than passive recipients of adult actions;
  • Predicts the impact of proposed policy, legislation, regulation, budget or other administrative decisions on children and the enjoyment of their rights;
  • Tracks with ongoing monitoring and evaluation the impact of the measures on child rights;
  • Is built into Government processes at all levels as early as possible and on a continuing basis in the development of policy and other general measures for good governance of child rights;
  • Maximizes positive impacts and avoids or mitigates negative impacts on child rights and well-being (CRC, General Comment No. 14 on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration (GC No. 14), para 35)

Around the world


Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child all levels of government and anyone delivering public services (including from the voluntary or private sectors) must ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all actions concerning children.

Canadian Law

CRIAs are relatively new in Canada but have been used by all levels of government and in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia with initiatives underway in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and the Yukon.

New Zealand Child Impact Assessment Tool

A Child Impact Assessment (CIA) Tool has been developed to help government and non-government organisations in New Zealand to assess whether policy proposals will improve the wellbeing of children and young people.

Download the Child and Youth Impact Assessment Tool below.


A Child’s Voice Research Report 28-05-2021.pdf (
Child rights impact assessment - Child Friendly Cities & Communities (
Canadian Bar Association - Child Rights Impact Assessments (
Child Impact Assessment Tool - Ministry of Social Development (