Children and Young Peoples Participation in the Community in Ireland: Experiences and Issues

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Children and Young Peoples Participation in the Community in Ireland: Experiences and Issues:

This paper presents the findings of research into children and young people’s experiences of participating in their communities in Ireland. Using a social and relational understanding of participation, the research found that children and young people are engaged in a wide range of activities in their communities. They are however often misunderstood in the community and have limited opportunities for participation in decisions affecting them. Despite these problems, they report positive experiences of participating in youth clubs and organisations, where their participation is supported by adults. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for research, public policy and community.

Recorded on 3rd of October 2019

The Community in Ireland: Experiences and Issues


Author: Forde, C., Martin, S., Horgan, D., Parkes, A. and Mages, L.

Publisher: Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies

Date: 2018

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Not Specified

Type of participation: N/A

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Children and Young People, Community, Participation


Ireland ratified the UNCRC in September 1992, and in line with Article 12 the Irish State committed to including the voice of the child and children’s views in policy-making processes. A key policy strategy aimed at meeting these commitments was the National Children’s Strategy 2000 – 2010. The Strategy, which was the first policy document to set out children’s rights in Ireland, made an explicit commitment to giving children a voice in matters that affect them. Since 2000, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to support children and young people’s participation. These include the establishment of an office of an Ombudsman for Children (2003), a series of national consultations on issues concerning children and young people, the development of the first full ministerial post and Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) in 2011, a national advisory panel of children and young people, and a national youth council and thirty-four local child and youth councils aimed at children and young people aged 12 to 18 years. Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, 2014-2020 (2014), the national policy framework for children and young people, established five national outcomes to make children and young people’s lives better