Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Child and Youth Participation Award


When to Apply

You can submit your application between March and May each year.  The exact opening and closing dates will be advertised on the Tusla Newscast and through the Participation Officers for external agencies in January and February.

School applications are limited to Primary Deis schools for the moment.  Home School Liaison Officers will let schools know when applications are open.

To apply you must:
  • Complete the application form.
  • Agree to an online or in-person site visit from a Participation Officer.
  • Support the children and young people involved to review the Participation Officer’s report.


The Child and Youth Participation Awards Journey


The Application Form

The application form is online.  

  • You can fill the form in online and email it to the Participation Officer.  
  • If you want to, you can print the form and fill it in by hand.  In this case you might need to add an additional page to the form to include everything.

There are four criteria for assessing applications.  These are:

  1. Space: Children have a space to express their views.  ‘Space’ includes physical space as well as enough information, time, and support for all children to take part. A good space will allow the children to feel safe and comfortable in telling you what they want, need, feel, and think.
  2. Voice: Children must have the chance to give their views on decisions that affect them if they want to, however small or big these decisions are. Children must be given a choice about what they want to express their views on and how they want to do this. Adults should support this. 
  3. Audience: Children’s views must be listened to and considered. The adults listening should tell them what they will do with their views.  Children should know who else will hear their views, how their views will be shared, and what might change.
  4. Influence: Children must get feedback on what happened or changed because of their views and why.  Projects and services must support the children to give feedback on how their views were heard and used. 

You must show or evidence the participation work you are putting forward for the award.  You can do this by sending:

  • Your typed/written application form that covers the four areas of Space, Voice, Audience, and Influence.
  • Photographs of the participation work as it is happening.
  • Photographs of a completed project or participation experience.


Visit by the Participation Officer

The Participation Officer will visit you online or in person to check that your project really was good participation practice.  During this visit, the Participation Officer will meet with the staff involved and the children or young people who took part in the project. 

The Participation Officer will write a report on the project after their visit.  The children who took part in the work/project will be asked to approve or sign off on this report.  This confirms that they were happy with the participation work you did.  


What happens next? Evaluating Applications

After the children sign off on the Participation Officer’s report, this and details from your application will be shared with the Evaluation Committee.  This is made up of people from Tusla, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Hub na nÓg, the Children’s Rights Alliance and An Gaisce – the President’s Award.  Your Participation Officer presents your application at the meeting and the Committee carefully considers each one. 


What the Award gives your service, organisation or project

The Award is valid for two years.  Successful applicants will receive:

  • a digital copy of the Tusla Child and Youth Participation Awards logo for use on their documents/leaflets and letterheads for two-years
  • a certificate of achievement, a letter of congratulations and a colour printed copy of their report by post.
  • a certificate of participation for all the children and young people that took part.
  • the opportunity to attend a national award ceremony along with other recipients of the award.
  • the opportunity to share their achievements over the following year on Tusla’s Child and Youth Participation newsletter, Tusla’s Newscast or in publications about child and youth participation.

After two years, services, organisations or projects can reapply for the Award. 

Participation Officers will contact unsuccessful applicants in writing and by phone.  They will give the reasons why they were unsuccessful at this time. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply.


Child and Youth Participation Awards 2023


Downloadable Content

Reference / Sample Documents

Service's guide to CYPA

Children's guide to CYPA

Assessment Tool SAMPLE

Partner Documents

Hub Poster CYPA poster

Ombudsman for Children Poster

Gaisce and CYPA Online Leaflet

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