Listening to Children: Taking children and young people's participation forward - Kay Tisdall

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Dr Kay Tisdall, Programme Director of the MSc in Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh. http://www.childhoodstudies.ed.ac.uk

Session 1 - Children's Voices, citizenship and inclusion. Chair: Sally Kuenssberg

Getting It Right for Every Child: Childhood, Citizenship and Children's Services, Glasgow, 24-26 September 2008.

http://www.iriss.org.uk/conference/girfec

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Listening to Children: Taking children and young people's participation forward - Kay Tisdall

  1. 1. Children, Young People and Participation Dr Kay Tisdall Programme Director, MSc in Childhood Studies University of Edinburgh [email_address] www.childhoodstudies.ed.ac.uk
  2. 2. <ul><li>You are the manager of a day nursery. The Care Commission is coming to inspect. </li></ul><ul><li>Your staff ask you – what does this standard mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children and young people will have opportunities to express their views, exercise choice and, where possible, influence the programme. (Standard 5.4) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The good news story <ul><li>The participation of children and young people in ‘public’ decision-making has gained unprecedented policy prominence. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s rights to participate are increasingly recognised in the UK, in official government policy and legislation. This has been greatly assisted by the UNCRC. </li></ul><ul><li>Services are increasingly expected to involve children and young people. </li></ul><ul><li>Participation activities have proliferated. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Is it clear what the purpose of the participation is? Is it purposeful or just a ‘tick box’? </li></ul><ul><li>Which children are included? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we (adults) interpret what children are saying? </li></ul><ul><li>How do children’s views fit amongst other stakeholders? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the participation meaningful to those involved? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the participation having any impact on decisions? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the participation ethical? (Sinclair 2004) </li></ul>What challenges do you face?
  5. 5. Discourses of Participation <ul><li>To uphold children’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>To fulfil legal responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>To improve services </li></ul><ul><li>To improve decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>To enhance democratic processes </li></ul><ul><li>To promote children’s protection </li></ul><ul><li>To enhance children’s skills </li></ul><ul><li>To empower and enhance self-esteem </li></ul>Sinclair and Franklin 2000
  6. 6. What is not there? <ul><li>Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Political mobilisation and emancipation </li></ul><ul><li>Age discrimination </li></ul>
  7. 7. Back to the vignette … <ul><li>The involvement of young children </li></ul><ul><li>A fixation on ‘voice’? </li></ul><ul><li>The role of adults </li></ul><ul><li>You are the manager of a day nursery. The Care Commission is coming to inspect. </li></ul><ul><li>Your staff ask you – what does this standard mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children and young people will have opportunities to express their views, exercise choice and, where possible, influence the programme. (Standard 5.4) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Sinclair, R. and Franklin, A., “Young People’s Participation” Quality Protects Research Briefing (2000) accessed at http://www.rip.org.uk/publications/documents/QPB/QPB3.PDF (2.11.07) </li></ul><ul><li>Sinclair, R. (2004) ‘Participation in practice: making it meaningful, effective and sustainable’, Children & Society , 18(2): 106-118. </li></ul><ul><li>Related papers </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, E.K.M. (2009) ‘Governance, Civil Society and Participation’, in Percy-Smith, B. and Thomas, N. (eds) A Handbook of Children’s Participation , London: Routledge. (forthcoming) </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, E.K.M. (2008) “The rise of a new profession? Children’s participation workers”, in Allan, J., Ozga, J. and Smyth, G. (Eds) Social Capital, Professionalism and Diversity , Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. (forthcoming) </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, E.K.M. (2008) ‘Is the honeymoon over? Children and Young People’s Participation in Public Decision-Making’ International Journal of Children’s Rights, Special Issue 16(3): 419-429. </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, E.K.M., Davis, J.M. and Gallagher, M. (2008) ‘Reflecting upon children and young people’s participation in the UK‘, International Journal of Children’s Rights, Special Issue 16(3): 343-354. </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, E.K.M. and Bell, R. (2006) ‘Included in Governance? Children’s participation in ‘public’ decision-making’ in Tisdall, E.K.M., Davis, J., Hill, M. and Prout, A. (Eds) Children, young people and social inclusion: participation for what? Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 105-120. </li></ul><ul><li>Tisdall, K. and Davis, J. (2004) ‘Making a Difference? Bringing children’s and young people’s views into policy-making’ Children & Society 18(2): 131-142. </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, M., Davis, J., Prout, A. and Tisdall, K. (2004) ‘Moving the participation agenda forward’ Children & Society 18(2): 77-96. </li></ul>

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