2 Personal practice
Childhood and Youth is a fast-moving sector with frequent policy changes and new legislative initiatives. It is important to keep up to date, so get into the habit of regularly checking government and local government policy websites. Make sure that you are familiar with the policy on children’s participation in your own setting, and if you think that this is out of step with current legislation, then make this known and see if you can bring about change.
In relation to your personal practice, consider what your own perspective is. Has this changed in any way since you have engaged with the material in this course? A useful activity would be to create your own participation continuum based on the ideas first explored by Hart and Shier. Make it meaningful to yourself and your interaction with children and young people. Include where you have come from and ideals that you might be aiming for, as well as where you think you are now. Finally, think about your interaction with colleagues in other child and youth service sectors – how confident are you in an integrated approach to children’s participation and shared decision making?