A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation : by Barry Percy-Smith, Nigel Thomas

By Barry Percy-Smith, Nigel Thomas

A instruction manual of kids and younger People's Participation brings jointly key thinkers and practitioners from diversified contexts around the globe to supply an authoritative review of latest idea and perform round children’s participation. selling the participation of youngsters and younger people – in decision-making and coverage improvement, and as lively members to daily relatives and neighborhood life – has develop into a critical a part of coverage and programme tasks in either majority and minority worlds. This ebook offers the main valuable fresh paintings in children’s participation as a source for lecturers, scholars and practitioners in adolescence experiences, children’s rights and welfare, baby and relatives social paintings, adolescence and neighborhood paintings, governance, reduction and improvement programmes. The e-book introduces key strategies and debates, and offers a wealthy selection of debts of the various ways that children’s participation is known and enacted world wide, interspersed with reflective commentaries from adults and youngsters. It concludes with a couple of enormous theoretical contributions that goal to take ahead our figuring out of children’s participation. The emphasis during the textual content is on studying from the complexity of children’s participation in perform to enhance our theoretical figuring out, and on utilizing these theoretical insights to problem perform, with the purpose of realising children’s rights and citizenship extra absolutely.

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Given the everyday practicalities and challenges of participatory projects, though, this more idealistic approach may not always be achievable. Children are cast in the role of children as social actors. Children are viewed as being competent in relation to experience and recognised as being ‘experts’ in their own lives and, most importantly, as capable of being ‘change agents’ or active citizens in transforming their world. Children as change agents Fuelled by the introduction of the child rights movement and these many models of participation, some innovative child researchers started to work with children in more collaborative ways, based on the view that ‘the best people to provide information on the child’s perspective, actions and attitudes are children themselves’ (Scott 2000: 99).

This can and often does lead to retaliation. For children, who are usually the most vulnerable members of society, the risks are even greater, particularly in social environments where there is little or no acceptance of children expressing their views. It is also necessary to recognise that there can be unintended and negative consequences to involving children as social actors engaged in claiming their rights. It is possible that children may lose as much as they gain. Some of these risks are inevitable and unavoidable.

Even in democratic countries, the barriers are significant. Children are not generally viewed as citizens – and even for adults, opportunities for real engagement in active participatory democracy are limited. Creating space for children to be genuinely involved in decisions that affect them, therefore, does necessarily involve a long and continued struggle. The challenges are multiple. The legitimacy of children as social actors, entitled to be involved, has to be established. Attitudes towards recognition of children’s capacities need to be reformed.

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