4 Valuing and using what we learn from children
What use is made of children’s views and perspectives? Are they genuinely taken into account when making decisions about laws, policies and practices, or are they put to one side while adults do what they think best? Is consultation genuine or dies it simply allow us to tick the participation box? In terms of Roger Hart’s ladder of participation (1997), how far has the gathering of children’s views been an exercise in tokenism, decoration, or even manipulation?
One young man in the Kidspeak consultation on domestic violence put it this way:
There is a likelihood that women’s organisations have probably told you some of the things we are, AGES ago. What is the difference between hearing it from them as opposed to us? Does it mean you are going to act more quickly because you are hearing it from us or can we expect more of the same?