Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Child and Youth Participation Conference 2017

2017 - On Our Way

Tusla’s second National Child and Youth Participation Conference “On Our Way” took place on the 6th April 2017 in Athlone, Co Westmeath. It brought together Tusla staff, young people and our funded agencies and partners to celebrate Child and Youth participation. Over 360 people attended, including 120 young people from across the country. Afro Eire gave the conference a rip-roaring start with their high energy, exciting performance.  Their drumming beats led the attendees to the main hall where Mr. Fred Mc Bride welcomed everyone.  Mr. Mc Bride and Rob Johnson then presented the Investing in Children AwardsÔ, which recognise stellar child and youth participatory practice, to six well-deserved successful applicants.

“On Our Way” also launched the “The National Children’s Charter”. It was presented by Dr. Carmel Corrigan and the young people that were integral to its development. Speaking about their involvement, the young people conveyed the power of being heard and the value of their opinions being acted upon. Our internationally renowned guest speakers engaged, inspired and captivated. Professor Laura Lundy’s keynote “Children’s Participation: Of Myths and Legends” highlighted the many myths surrounding child and youth participation. “Why Young People Might Burn Down the Building”, Ruairí Mc Kiernan’s keynote, highlighted the progress of child and youth participation and how to overcome the challenges.

Vanessa Quinn presented the video composition “I am… ME” that portrayed the experience of being in care from a child or young person’s perspective. The super talented Familibase Music Studio performed with a thought provoking rap and singing performances that  gripped the audience, all supported by outstanding musicians. The workshops and exhibitions were a highlight of the conference. The young people, Tusla staff and partner agencies involved in the seed funding projects put a tremendous effort into their interactive presentations and amazing artwork. Oísin Keegan and Lucinda Hayes, two young people from our conference planning group, were fantastic as our two MC’s for the day. They kept the conference running on time and in order with humour and wit.

Celebrating and highlighting the child and youth participatory work that is being carried out across the country, the day was uplifting, motivational and it demonstrated that for Child and Youth Participation we are “On Our Way”.

Video’s from our speakers, including Mr. Fred Mc Bride, Dr. Carmel Corrigan, Professor Laura Lundy and Ruairí Mc Kiernan can be found below. 

Fred McBride, Chief Executive, Tusla - Welcome

Presentation of Investing in Children Membership Awards by Fred McBride and Robert Johnson, Investing in Children

Prof Laura Lundy - Children's Participation: of Myths and Legends 

Dr Carmel Corrigan - The development of Tusla's National Children's Charter 

Ruairi McKiernan - Why young people might burn down the building 



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