Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Participation Resources

The Child and Youth Participation Strategy 2019 - 2023 aims to ensure that every time a decision is taken, which directly affects a child or young person or children and young people collectively, their views are taken into consideration in the decision making process. The Strategy states that:

'A modern public service places the service user at the heart of decision-making, service planning and provision. The Child and Family Agency  is committed to engaging with children, families and communities regarding the design and quality of services. The participation of children and young people is fundamental to a child centred,  rights-based approach to working with children and young people. It is a requirement of the forthcoming Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) National Participation Policy for Children and Young People and the pending National Children's Charter. It is also a key recommendation in the recent reports documenting Ireland’s failure to protect children experiencing abuse and neglect and is one of the Health and Information Quality Authority (HIQA) National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children. As well as it being a right and in keeping with national policy, there is evidence to suggest that when children and young people are meaningfully engaged in child protection interventions it can lead to better outcomes, including better targeted services for children and their families and the empowerment of children and young people (Bell, 2002; La Valle et al., 2012)'.

The following is an outline of resources for staff to support the participation of children and young people in decision-making:


Resources and Toolkits for Children and Young People's Involvement

Outlined below are useful sites which provide guidance from Ireland and internationally in the area of children and young people’s involvement.

Child and Youth Participation Toolkit

Tusla’s Child and Youth Participation Toolkit’s purpose is to support staff to facilitate child and youth participatory practice at every level and in every engagement with a child or young person. This toolkit outlines the context and rationale for child and youth participation, guidance in the application of the Lundy model of participation and examples of activities that can support participatory practice. 

Hub na nÓg Hub na nÓg is the national centre of excellence and coordination on children and young people's participation in decision-making. It was established in June 2017 by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to support implementation of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision Making (2015-2020). The Hub supports Government Departments, State agencies and non-government organisations to give children and young people a voice in decision-making on issues that affect their lives, with a particular focus on those that are seldom-heard. The Hub develops, documents and disseminates innovative international best practice on children and young people’s participation in decision-making, which includes a database of best practice publications and resources.
Hear by RightProduced by the National youth Agency in England, Hear by Right is a tried and tested standards framework for organisations across the statutory and voluntary sectors to assess and improve practice and policy on the active involvement of children and young people. The website provides a wide range of useful toolkits and briefings.
Supporting Interculturalism in Youth Work, Practical Guidelines for doing Intercultural Youth WorkThe National Youth Council of Ireland, website provides useful information on training and resource materials and highlights issues of concern in the sector. Of particular interest is: Supporting Interculturalism in Youth Work, Practical Guidelines for doing Intercultural Youth Work.National Youth Council of Ireland Updated May 2009

The Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA) has the lead role under the National Children’s Strategy in ensuring that children and young people have a voice in the design, delivery and monitoring of services and policies that affect their lives, at national and local level. Young Voices – How to involve children and young people in your work are guidelines for agencies and organisations in the statutory and non-statutory sectors to develop a culture of participation by children and young people. The site also provides details on key areas of the work of the OMCYA on child and youth participation, including:


Youth PartnershipThis website provides details on training, youth seminars and meetings and youth policy. It also hosts the European Knowledge Centre on Youth Policy (EKCYP)
UNICEF websiteThis guide on the UNICEF website is aimed at practitioners and managers involved in promoting child and youth participation in government, community-based organizations, child-led organizations, NGOs and UN and donor agencies.  It contains a list of key websites on children’s participation provides a summary key portals, networks, listservs, and organizations for child and youth participation.
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