1 Children and young people’s participation
This course centres on the core reading ‘Children and young people’s participation’ by Mary Kellett and is further supported by activities and readings designed to explore and debate this theme in detail.
Begin your studies by reading ‘Children and young people’s participation’ by Mary Kellett and consider the following questions:
- How does Kellett define participation?
- What are the implications of ‘participation’ for integrated practice?
- What are the potential barriers to children and young people’s participation?
- What are the key features of Hart and Shier’s model of participation?
Mary Kellett indicates that listening to children’s views – a first step in the participation agenda – is reasonably well established in the policy and practice arena. By contrast, enabling children to share in decision making processes, which is another crucial element of participation, lags some way behind. Mary emphasises that the adoption of an integrated approach to children and young people’s participation by different sectors of the large children’s workforce is of crucial importance. The reading includes a critique of Hart’s and Shier’s models of participation, and discusses the difficulties of trying to measure participation. Much of the criticism of Hart’s model concerns the fact that it represents children’s participation as a linear process when the reality is much more complicated and non-linear. The participation agenda emerged from the importance placed on children’s rights, but such rights and entitlements have not been adequately translated into shared decision making processes. This course will ask you to think about the issues raised in this reading as they relate to your own experiences or views on participation.