Participation is an integral component of being a Child-safe Child-friendly organisation. If kids participation is not valued and facilitated in an organisation, children and young people are unlikely to speak up about experiences of feeling unsafe.
Adults must actively facilitate the participation of children and young people. It is the responsibility of adults to ensure that kids can contribute meaningfully and get involved.
Adults must change the landscape so that children and young people are valued, active and respected members of society. The "landscape" includes culture, attitudes, infrastructure, skills and rights awareness of kids. It is not simply about asking children and young people for their opinion, or giving them a say in things that affect them individually and personally. It is about actively creating an environment and supporting skill development to facilitate their participation.
Child-safe Child-friendly organisations involve children and young people in making decisions about policies, programs and services. They ensure through services and activities, attitudes and culture, that kids have a say in organisational decisions, are listened to, and have their views respected and valued.
Children and young people’s participation could include:
- getting their ideas on your organisation’s code of conduct, policy and program activities
- involving a young person when decisions are made that will affect them eg. staff selection and canteen advisory committees
- providing leadership training and roles for kids
- consulting with kids about issues that affect them.
For more information on how to include children and young people, follow the link to the Commission’s TAKING PARTicipation seriously kit.