The Forum has agreed to develop a National Participation Strategy to set a high-level direction of travel for children and young people’s participation in England over the next decade.
We want the strategy to build on existing evidence of participation, to involve children and young people from the beginning and to look broadly at all aspects of society than just the children and young people’s sector.
To date the Forum has supported a wide range of research study, which brought together current evidence on participation alongside new fieldwork with organisations, practitioners and children and young people. The study shows that whilst there has been considerable developments in children and young people’s participation, significant challenges remain. There are many situations where children face barriers influencing decision-making. Evaluation of participation is under-developed and service managers lack opportunities for suitable training. The individual reports of the study can be downloaded from our research page.
To compliment the study, we have also issued a shared strategic vision for participation: An Equal Place at the Table for Children and Young People. The document sets out a vision for England to become a fairer society where age is no barrier to involvement and where the mutual benefits for children and adults from participation are acknowledged. We want to weave the involvement if children and young people into the culture of organisations and wider society so that all can gain. The document has been distributed to key decision-makers, elected representatives and policy makers as a contribution to the debate on empowering citizens, effectively involving them in matters affecting them and improving services.
The five research reports provide a baseline assessment of the current participation landscape. The challenge now, and what the strategy aims to achieve, is to set the journey which takes us to our shared vision of all children having an equal place at the table.
The National Participation Forum invites you to join us in this journey. If having read our research or our vision you are thinking about what need to happen enable our youngest citizens to have their voices heard in delivering a better society for us all, post your ideas and thoughts below. We will post constructive commentary and ideas for other readers to see.
You can also email your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please feel free to make comments about the NPF documents below.