Engaging Young People as Partners for Change: The UR Community Project

Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) declares that young people have the right to express views and to have these taken into account when decisions are made that affect them. Yet, children’s voices are still not universally heard in policy and operational discourses. In many areas of service delivery in particular, young people remain disenfranchised, in spite of evidence which attests to their desire positively to engage with adult decision makers. Challenging the apparent discordance between the rhetoric relating to young people’s decision making and reality (as perceived by children), this article offers a new and innovative template for researching with young people as partners for change in the specific context of research dissemination. Seeking to enhance understanding and influence practice, the article sheds some much-needed light on how participation rights can be made “real” at a local level.