Undertaking and building a culture of child/youth involvement in a context of Children's Trust Partnerships
This viewpoint discusses some theoretical and practical issues which deserve consideration in the drive to build a culture of children and young people’s involvement in decision-making, when staff work in partnership with others across traditional professional and organisational boundaries. Some of these issues have arisen through the first author’s practice as a participation manager in Hertfordshire (UK) and some from his research evaluating best practice guidance for child/youth involvement when working within partnership arrangements. The second author has experienced these partnership arrangements as a researcher commissioned by the participation team; her primary concern is assuring that the views of children and young people are heard. Whilst children’s services in England and Wales are arranged through Children’s Trust Partnerships, the issues discussed are intended to be applicable in any setting where organisations work together to improve the lives of children and young people. This paper explores some of the difficulties in developing child/youth involvement and offers some ideas on ways forward. First, some of the challenges are explored.