This library is a comprehensive collection of national and international good practice, policy, legal and academic publications, reports and resources on children and young people’s participation in decision-making.
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The Representation of Children’s Participation in Guidelines for Planning and Designing Public Playspaces: A Scoping Review with “Best Fit” Framework Synthesis
For children, meaningful participation in community life includes being able to access places for play. Such community playspaces are potentially important for all children, including those with disabilities. Yet, children are rarely asked for their views on the design of playspaces, which can further contribute to exclusionary practices and undermine children’s rights to share their views on matters that affect them. In this scoping review, we aim to analyze guidelines and identify strategies for supporting children’s participation rights when planning public playspaces. Guidelines are practical tools used by local policymakers when creating community playspaces, which are important sites for children’s outdoor play. In total, forty-two guidelines were identified that addressed children’s participation rights, along with community involvement. Qualitative evidence synthesis with a “best fit” framework approach was used, informed by Lundy’s model of children’s participation. The findings revealed the importance of initial community involvement as a critical prerequisite. Strategies for children’s participation mostly concerned “space and voice” (for children of diverse abilities), with little attention paid to giving their views due weight. This evidence shows that there is a significant gap in knowledge surrounding policy development and implementation to support adults and children to cooperate equally in designing playspaces. Future directions for research in children’s participation require a focus on combined community–children participation approaches in public playspace design. Such work could strengthen and facilitate the role of adults as bearers of the duty to implement the rights of children. This review generated inclusive strategies in planning public playspaces, which could support local policymakers in this complex multi-layered process.
Children’s Human Rights to ‘Participation’ and ‘Protection’: Rethinking the Relationship Using Barnahus as a Case Example
The relationship between children's human rights to protection and to what is commonly referred to as ‘participation’ has received significant attention, with many scholars critiquing the purported tension between the two approaches and demonstrating how child participation should be a core feature of child protection. Less attention has been paid to the converse and, we argue, essential precursor of participatory protection practice – the significance of the child's right to be protected from harm as a means to ensuring successful child participation. Drawing on the example of the multidisciplinary Barnahus model, this article explores the multifaceted relationship between participation and protection, suggesting that there needs to be greater acknowledgement of the role of collective child participation in delivering the conditions where individual children who have witnessed or experienced violence feel and are safe to express themselves.
Headphones, Odd Shoes & A Second Chance at Life
In November 2021, EPIC commissioned Deborah Erwin to conduct an exploratory study of the lived experience of children in the care system, and young people after care with disabilities. The study has four aims and is centred on the following questions:
- To develop an understanding of the experiences of children and young people with disabilities while they are in care, in aftercare services or who have experience of the care system up to the age of 26.
- To enable these children and young people to directly participate in awareness raising, in line with their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
- To generate evidence to support policy makers and practitioners to progress implementation of the UNCRPD amongst children and young people in the care system and in aftercare services.
- To explore the level of knowledge amongst care-experienced children and young people on the UNCRPD.
Voice of the Infant Best Practice Guidelines and Infant Pledge
The Voice of the Infant Best Practice Guidelines and Infant Pledge have been co-produced by a short-life working group, on behalf of the Infant Mental Health Implementation and Advisory Group, which is part of the Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board. The intention is to provide guidance on how to take account of infants’ views and rights in all encounters they may have with professionals in statutory or third sector services, or in public spaces such as shops, libraries or galleries.
Sense of Place in Children’s Residential Care Homes
How do young people living in residential care perceive their environment? How do they experience the sights, sounds, smell and feel of living in an institution? How may attachment to place contribute to the wellbeing of young people? This paper explores meanings of home in domestic and regulated (institutional) environments from the perspective of young people and staff living and working in a residential children’s home in England. Drawing on a pilot study using visual participatory research methods adapted from the Mosaic approach (Clark 2011), the study identifies what young people and staff considered important about the place where residents lived. Using photographs and commentary, three conceptual themes are discussed: the home as institutional space; the home as ‘practices’; and home as idealised space. The paper raises questions as to how ways of ‘doing home’ can be supported in these liminal spaces that strive to be both domestic and institutional.
Seldom-heard Toolkit – A Practical Guide to Including Seldom-heard Children & Young People in Decision-making
This Toolkit provides an ‘Overview and Context’ as well as the ‘Benefits of including Seldom-heard Children and Young People in Decision-Making’ on (blue) pages 1-10. The ‘Role of Management in ensuring the participation of seldom-heard children and young people’ is then outlined on (purple) pages 11-19.
Comhairle na nÓg Toolkit (Second Edition)
The Comhairle na nÓg Toolkit has been developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) Citizen Participation Unit to support the work of those who organise and run the 31 Comhairlí na nÓg throughout the country. Comhairlí na nÓg are part-funded by the DCYA Comhairle Development Fund, which is managed by Pobal in cooperation with the DCYA. In addition, the DCYA Child and Youth Participation Officers provide training, advice and support to organisers of Comhairle na nÓg and work on other DCYA child participation initiatives.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (Child Friendly Version)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important agreement by countries who have promised to protect children’s rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explains who children are, all their rights, and the responsibilities of governments. All the rights are connected, they are all equally important and they cannot be taken away from children.
“This is my life, and I don’t want to waste a year of it”- The Experiences and Wellbeing of Children Fleeing Ukraine
Since the escalation of conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, more than 7.7 million refugees have fled the country to seek safety in other European countries. An estimated 40% are children. Save the Children research with more than 1,000 children and caregivers in eight European countries, shows that children who have left Ukraine face significant challenges adjusting to their new environment. They report higher levels of anxiety and unhappiness than before, and a worryingly high proportion do not plan to enrol in or attend school. These findings are based on a survey and focus group discussions with children and their caregivers carried out in Finland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden in July and August 2022.
Children’s Participation in Practice: Comparing the Views of Managers and Practitioners in an Early Intervention and Prevention Programme