dr shirley martin, dr catherine forde, dr audrey dunn galvin and dr angela o'connell, university...

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  • Dr Shirley Martin, Dr Catherine Forde, Dr Audrey Dunn Galvin and Dr Angela O'Connell, University College Cork
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  • THE N ATIONAL C HILDREN S S TRATEGY 2000 G OAL 1 I NITIATIVES Department of Children and Youth Affairs participatory initiatives supporting the implementation of Goal 1: Comhairle na ng (local youth councils); Dil na ng (National Youth Parliament); Comhairle na ng National Executive (formerly the Dil na ng Council); Children and Young Peoples Forum; Children and Young Peoples Participation Support Team in 2009; National consultations with children and young people.
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  • Child and youth councils in the 34 City and County Development Board areas. Aim to give children and young people voice in the development of local services and policies- which link with adult decision-making bodies. Bi-annual national parliament for young people aged 12-18 years hosted by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Delegates are elected to Dil na ng by the 34 Comhairle na ng. One representative from each Comhairle na ng is elected to the Comhairle na ng National Executive (formerly Dil na ng Council), which follows up on the Oireachtas Committees and other decision-makers. Comhairl na ng Dil na ng
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  • A IMS OF THE S TUDY To gain insight into the experiences and outcomes of participation for children and young people who are currently involved and have been involved in DYCA participation initiatives. To use participatory research methods to develop a research and evaluation model that takes account of childrens and young peoples voices, is informed by consultation with the DCYA and is grounded in national and international literature.
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  • A REAS OF I MPACT The study utilised a holistic model of participation underpinned by Ackermann et al s (2003) four realms of impact: This model was adapted to take account of participants experiences of the impact of the DYCA initiatives in four main areas :
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  • P ARTICIPATION I NITIATIVES E XAMINED IN R ESEARCH Participation Structures Dil na ng Comhairle Na ng; including 2012 Comhairle Na ng National Showcase DCYA Children and Young Peoples Forum Consultation Case Studies Listen to our voices! - Hearing children and young people living in the care of the state (2011) Mental Health Consultations with Teenagers What helps and what hurts? (2008).
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  • R ESEARCH F INDING 1. Personal impacts 2. Community impacts 3. Family impacts 4. Impact on Institutions and decision-making 5. Pathways to representation
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  • Personal skills development is the area most positively impacted by participation, followed by improved confidence, social skills, self-esteem and development of their social networks. Almost all of the CYP would recommend membership of Comhairle na ng. Participation initiatives create a safe space for some seldom heard young people and in particular a safe space to discuss issues of difference and social justice.
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  • I MPACTS OF PARTICIPATION AT COMMUNITY LEVEL Positive impact of child and youth participation on youth spaces in community Increased awareness of CYPs issues; this could be viewed as raising the status of children and young people within their own communities. Local decision-making often not youth friendly Impact of budget cuts hampers access to decision- makers Attitudes of some decision-makers towards youth participation problematic
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  • I MPACT ON I NSTITUTIONS AND D ECISION - MAKING IN I RISH S OCIETY DCYA participation spaces respect children and young people both as community members and value them as citizens in their own rights. Positive impact on social justice and youth issues. Changing cultural attitudes to children and young peoples participation- noticeable shift towards the inclusion of children and young peoples views in some decision-making processes. A particular factor in this cultural shift is the work of adult facilitators or participation champions in pushing the participation agenda.
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  • K EY ACHIEVEMENTS BY SUCCESSIVE D IL NA N G C OUNCILS Fairsay! media campaign highlighted the negative portrayal of teenagers (2007-2008). Young people involved in developing HSE National Office for Suicide Preventions Youth Mental Health advertisement, called The boy with the hoodie, and awareness campaign (2008-2009). Influenced the Minister for Health and Childrens decision to commence the cervical cancer vaccine programme for 12-year-old girls (2010).
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  • S OME K EY ACHIEVEMENTS BY SUCCESSIVE D IL NA N G C OUNCILS Peer-led, evidence-based survey on implementation levels of SPHE and RSE among young people. Life skills matter not just points: A Survey of Implementation of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE ) in second-level schools Consultation with young people on reform of the Junior Cycle in partnership with DCYA and National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). How We See It: Report of a survey on young people's body image (2012)
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  • C ONCLUSIONS Comhairle na ng provides support and advocacy in the pursuit of issues relevant to children and young people. Child and youth participation spaces created by the DCYA may be viewed as attempting to create Lundys (2007) conditions of space (to express views), voice (opportunities to express views), audience (to be listened to) and influence (have views acted upon). Participants are positive about their experience of voice, space and audience, but the area of influence requires further work and support.
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  • Q UOTE FROM Y OUTH P ARTICIPANT When adults know what a young persons view can be, is actually, Wow! Like a young person knows what theyre talking about, when you understand that, then you would always take it into account. Youd always like, think of asking young people. But a lot of adults just forget, and they forget what it was like to be a young person and they really need to know that, like, because there was more work done by young people like this in Youth Forums, and definitely, people who work with children know how important we are. Its people who havent worked with children, and even people who dont have kids themselves, they just, they forget what it was like. (Female, CYPF)