Children & young people's participation in policy-making: sharing practice

Date: 7th March 2014
Category: Respect for the views of the child
Author: Centre for Research on Families and Relationships

A culmination of a knowledge exchange initiative to explore the challenges in ensuring the meaningful participation of children and young people in policy.

The initiative involved The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR), Barnado's Scotland and Children in Scotland.

The participation of children and young people is now widely accepted, demonstrated by examples of children and young people's positive engagement in policy and practice (see CRFR briefing 1 Children and Young People's Participation in Policy-making: Making it meaningful, effective and sustainable for examples).

However, the complexity of policy and organisational environments still throw up considerable challenges in ensuring that children and young people's influence on policy is effective, meaningful and sustainable. Exploring these challenges underpinned this collaborative initiative.

The evaluation found that policy-making processes and organisational structures and cultures influenced the effectiveness of participation approaches.

The findings suggest that opportunities should be developed to share understandings of participation, which can deepen and extend our current knowledge across academia, the public and voluntary sectors and by those developing policy at national and local level.

A briefing has been produced as a culmination of the programme of activities and the relevant findings.