Q: What is youth participation and how can I avoid ‘non-participation’ when working with youth?
A: This is a great question. We love youth participation (also called youth empowerment) because it encourages organizations to consider all their stakeholders, not just the ones with the money or power.
Previously, we outlined youth participation and the three camps adults fall in to when it comes to dealing with youth. We also discussed Roger Hart’s ‘Ladder of Participation’. There are other models of participation, one of which is Phil Tresder’s from ‘Empowering Children and Young People’ (1997). He identifies degrees of youth participation as having young people be:
- Consulted about the process and informed about the outcomes
- Assigned projects but informed so they can choose to participate
- Sharing decisions with adults but the project is adult-initiated
- Able to initiate the project but also share decisions with adults
- Able to initiate and direct all aspects of the project
7 top tips for encouraging youth participation:
- Be creative with delivery
- Consult with youth and act on what they say
- Cultivate a good and safe environment
- Have fun!
- Encourage diversity in your youth program
- Clear and flexible planning
- Ensure everyone has a say
Question: What are your top tips for avoiding non-participation? Do you have a focus on youth participation in your youth project? Share your tips and stories in the comments below.
You can also connect with us by:
- Signing up to receive our posts via email
- Following us on Twitter
- Liking us on Facebook
- Signing up to our RSS feed