Library

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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Child and Youth Participation Strategy

The participation of children and young people is fundamental to a child-centered, rights-based approach to working with children and young people. Tusla is committed to involving children and young people in decision-making. The Child and Youth Participation Strategy is our first participation strategy, spanning the period 2019-2023. It sets out how Tusla plans to support, nurture and celebrate a culture of participatory practice in both Tusla and Tusla-funded services.

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Author: Tusla

Publisher: Tusla – Child and Family Agency

Date: 2019

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Strategy

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Child and Youth Participation, Child Participation Strategy, Tusla, Youth participation

The Right of Children to Participate in Public Decision-Making Processes

The right of children to participate in decision‑making in all matters that affect their lives is a well‑established legal principle and international research indicates growing evidence that states are implementing this principle in the sphere of public decision-making. Processes and structures that ensure children’s voices are heard in public decision-making include children’s parliaments, children’s councils, children’s clubs, conferences, ad hoc consultations, politicians’ ‘surgeries’ and engagement through social media. This report was commissioned by the Child Rights Governance team at Save the Children and was undertaken by the Centre for Children’s Rights and Family Law at University College Cork and the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast. It brings together the research literature and the experience of civil society organisations working around the world to promote effective engagement with and participation by children and young people in decisions by national and local governments. Drawing on examples from a variety of countries representing diverse economic, social, political and cultural circumstances, it identifies the building blocks that are conducive to the effective participation of children in public decision-making.

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Author: Dr Louise Forde, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Deirdre Kelleher, Professor Laura Lundy

Publisher: Save the Children International

Date: 2020

Geographic Coverage: Worldwide

Type of Resource: Study

Sector/setting: Academic

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children's Rights, Children’s Participation, Decision-making, Lundy, Participation

Student Councils: A Voice for Students

The Education Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of student councils, intending them to play an integral and important role in the school community. Student councils provide a representative structure through which students can debate issues of concern and undertake initiatives of benefit to the school and the wider community. Students have a voice and a contribution to make to their school. It is important that they be given the opportunity to express their views on issues of concern to them in the school. It is equally important that they are listened to and encouraged to take an active part in promoting the aims and objectives of the school. The recent establishment of student councils in many schools is a most welcome development. It is my wish to see this happening in all of our post-primary schools. These guidelines are intended to provide practical guidance to school management, teachers and students alike in the establishment and operation of student councils.

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Author: Department of Education and Science

Publisher: Department of Education and Science

Date: 2002

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Guidance

Sector/setting: Academic

Vulnerable groups: Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Castleknock Community College., Department of Education and Science, Student Councils, Student Voices, Young People's Participation, Young People's Voices

Student Councils That Work: Reviewing and Improving Student Voice in NI Schools

The Report on the School Councils Inquiry by the NI Committee for Education (Committee for Education Report - Report on the School Councils Inquiry (niassembly.gov.uk)) defines a student/school council as a ‘formal group of pupils within a school who are elected by their peers to represent them and their views.’ The report notes that ‘the aim of the Committee’s inquiry is to champion and celebrate School Councils in Northern Ireland… with a view to identifying ways to support and enhance their work.’ It was published on 20 June 2012. SSUNI recognises and celebrates all those throughout the education sector in Northern Ireland who have dedicated themselves to promoting the rights of children and young people, particularly in ensuring the views of students are heard and taken into account in decision-making. However, the students of Northern Ireland feel that Student Councils are still not effective in their role, and that little has been done to solve this major issue. For this reason, SSUNI has written this response to bring to attention the untapped potential of student councils in Northern Ireland and propose a solution.

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Author: SSUNI

Publisher: The Secondary Students’ Union of Northern Ireland

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Northern Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Academic

Vulnerable groups: Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultation With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Lundy model, Secondary Students' Union of Northern Ireland, SSUNI, Student Council, Student Voice

#ScotYouthandCOVID2 – Children and Young People’s Participation Through Crisis

This report tells the story and process of wave two of the #ScotYouthandCOVID2 project. This was a Virtual Participatory Action Research Project with 25 Young Consultants across Scotland. Participatory Action Research is an approach that involves researchers and participants working together to understand a situation and/or problem and change it for the better. The findings detailed here explore the experiences and ideas for change from children and young people precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the UK moved into and through a second national lockdown at the start of 2021. Understanding these experiences and insights is vital to ensure we collectively respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights during and beyond the current crisis.

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Author: Wood, J. and Hamilton, J.

Publisher: A Place in Childhood

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Europe

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Charity

Vulnerable groups: Young People, Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Report

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: #ScotYouthandCOVID2, Children’s Participation, Covid, Young People's Participation

Direct Division

Children’s views and experiences of living in Direct Provision. A report by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office 2020.

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Author: Ombudsman for Children’s Office

Publisher: Ombudsman for Children’s Office

Date: 2020

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Not specified

Type of participation: Consultation With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children's views, Direct Division, Ombudsman for Children

Barnardos Glór na nÓg Monitoring and Evaluation Report Key Findings

The report provides details of the monitoring and evaluation of the Barnardos Glór na nÓg project. This pilot study was intended to inform the basis of an internal policy document on child advocacy within Barnardos as well as allowing the organisation to begin a process of embedding children and young people’s voices in this work.

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Author: Kathyan Kelly (Independent Research Consultant)

Publisher: Barnardos

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Charity

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Workshop With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Barnardos, Children's Advocacy, Children's Voices, Glór na nÓg, Key Findings, Monitoring and Evaluation

Barnardos Glór na nÓg Key Findings – Children’s Version

The report provides details of the monitoring and evaluation of the Barnardos Glór na nÓg project. This pilot study was intended to inform the basis of an internal policy document on child advocacy within Barnardos as well as allowing the organisation to begin a process of embedding children and young people’s voices in this work.

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Author: Kathyan Kelly (Independent Research Consultant)

Publisher: Barnardos

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Charity

Vulnerable groups: Children

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Workshop With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Barnardos, Children, Children's Advocacy, Children's Voices, Glór na nÓg, Key Findings, Monitoring and Evaluations

ISSU Student Council Handbook – an A-Z on All Things Student Council

This document has been created to meet the needs of student councils at all levels - from those starting from scratch, to those who wish to just improve their functioning, and those who have a proven track record of affecting change in their school community Created by students, we hope this is a useful resource for your student council and helps you to further student voice in your school community. Further resources, including action plans on specific issues, “off-the-shelf campaigns and student resources are available on the ISSU website.

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Author: ISSU Student Council

Publisher: ISSU

Date: 2021

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Academic

Sector/setting: Academic

Vulnerable groups:

Developed with children and young people? Not specified

Type of participation:

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Handbook, Irish Second Level Student's Union, ISSU, Student Council

Guidance for Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) on Participation by Children and Young People in Decision Making

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to CYPSC informed by the current policy context and to provide a series of practical steps in engaging children and young people in decision making.

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Author: Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC)

Publisher: Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC)

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Europe

Type of Resource: Guidance

Sector/setting: Other

Vulnerable groups: Young People, Children

Developed with children and young people? Not specified

Type of participation: Participation by Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children’s Participation, CYPSC, Decision-making, Participation, Tusla, Young People's Participation