For children and young people to become involved, practitioners need to be able
to work in a way which enables participation and ultimately affects change or
improvement within the organisation. Practitioners and their managers’
awareness of the benefits of participation may assist in this process. They are
often motivated to work in social care because they want to improve children
and young people’s lives: A participative approach may help them to achieve this
aim by ensuring that their ways of working are based on what is important to
children and young people. It may lead to improvements in skills, knowledge and
• Poor participatory practice is frequently cited as an obstacle to participation.
Good practice on a day to day basis is essential in ensuring that children and
young people have a positive experience of becoming involved and are able to
affect change within the organisation.
• Many social care organisations demonstrate a great deal of positive practice
which has enabled the involvement of children and young people. It is important
that this practice is recognised and shared.
The guide suggests that the following key practice points should be considered
so that children and young people can be actively involved in both collective and
− involvement of all children and young people, which means involving children
and young people from different age groups, including young children, and
children and young people from specific groups, including those who are
seldom heard – such as disabled and black & minority ethnic children and
PARTICIPATION PRACTICE GUIDE 06
young people, those in rural areas, those who are homeless, asylum seekers
and refugees, and young offenders
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