A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation
Perspectives from Theory and Practice
Edited by Barry Percy-Smith, Nigel Thomas
Published August 11th 2009 by Routledge – 378 pages
A Handbook of Children and Young People's Participation brings together key thinkers and practitioners from diverse contexts across the globe to provide an authoritative overview of contemporary theory and practice around children’s participation.
Promoting the participation of children and young people – in decision-making and policy development, and as active contributors to everyday family and community life – has become a central part of policy and programme initiatives in both majority and minority worlds. This book presents the most useful recent work in children’s participation as a resource for academics, students and practitioners in childhood studies, children’s rights and welfare, child and family social work, youth and community work, governance, aid and development programmes.
The book introduces key concepts and debates, and presents a rich collection of accounts of the diverse ways in which children’s participation is understood and enacted around the world, interspersed with reflective commentaries from adults and young people. It concludes with a number of substantial theoretical contributions that aim to take forward our understanding of children’s participation.
The emphasis throughout the text is on learning from the complexity of children’s participation in practice to improve our theoretical understanding, and on using those theoretical insights to challenge practice, with the aim of realising children’s rights and citizenship more fully.
‘This landmark book reveals how much our understanding of children’s right to participate has grown in the twenty years since the launch of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a basic resource for anyone who believes in children's rights and capacities as citizens.' - Roger A. Hart, City University of New York, USA
The Handbook will be an essential resource for anyone embarking on a child participation initiative as well as for students and scholars in childhood research and children’s rights.' - Martin Woodhead, Open University, UK
'The contributors to this ambitious and extremely accessible volume on children’s participation are to be congratulated for their ground-breaking work…The Handbook is an essential read for scholars, policy-makers, practitioners and children's rights advocates.' - Jo Boyden, University of Oxford, UK
"I found this volume very informative and intellectually stimulating. The phenomena described and the issues debated are indeed familiar. This Handbook is well worth a careful reading, and I recommend it with enthusiasm."—Social Work with Groups
Introduction, Nigel Thomas and Barry Percy-Smith Part One: Children’s Participation: progress and challenges 1.The realisation of children’s participation rights, Gerison Lansdown 2.Challenges of participatory practice with children, Karen Malone and Catherine Hartung 3.Children’s participation in Bangladesh, Sarah C. White and Shyamol A. Choudhury Part Two: Learning about Children’s Participation in Practice – Contexts for practice – i) Working in particular situations 4.Children's participation in armed conflict and post-conflict peace building, Clare Feinstein, Annette Giertsen and Claire O’Kane 5. The participation of children living in the poorest and most difficult situations, Patricia Ray 6.Dikwankwetla - Children in action: children's participation in law reform process in South Africa, Lucy Jamieson and Wanjiru Mukoma Contexts for practice ii) Working with particular groups 7.Younger children’s individual participation in 'all matters affecting the child' Priscilla Alderson 8.Disabled children and participation in the UK, Kate Martin and Anita Franklin 9.Participation among young people with mental health issues, Ann Dadich 10.Advocacy for children in family group conferences, Perpetua Kirby and Sophie Laws Contexts for practice iii) Working in particular cultural contexts 11.Questioning understandings of children’s participation, Jan Mason and Natalie Bolzan 12.The construction of childhood and the socialisation of children in Ghana, Afua Twum-Danso 13.Youth participation in indigenous traditional communities, Yolanda Corona Caraveo, Carlos Perez and Julián Hernández Approaches to practice i) Methods and frameworks 14.Rights through evaluation and understanding children’s realities, Vicky Johnson 15.Children’s participation in school and community, Renate Kränzl-Nagl and Ulrike Zartler 16.Building towards effective participation, Tiina Sotkasiira, Lotta Haikkola and Liisa Horelli 17.Getting the measure of children and young people’s participation, Anne Crowley and Anna Skeels Approaches to practice ii) Strategies and practices 18.Challenging obstacles to the participation of children and young people in Rwanda, Kirrily Pells 19.Child reporters as agents of change, Lalatendu Acharya 20.‘Pathways to participation’ revisited, Harry Shier 21.The London Secondary School Councils Action research project, Hiromi Yamashita and Lynn Davies Approaches to practice iii) Spaces and structures 22.Children’s participation in citizenship and governance, Sara Austin 23.Appraising the effectiveness of Youth Councils in Scotland, Brian McGinley and Ann Grieve 24.A critique of youth parliaments as models of representation for marginalised young people, Alan Turkie 25.Nil desperandum as long as you carpe diem, Jack Lewars 26.Participation in a youth organisation in Turkey, Fahriye Hazer Sancar and Yucel Can Severcan Part Three: New Theoretical Perspectives 27.Children’s participation as a struggle over recognition, Robyn Fitzgerald, Anne Graham, Anne Smith and Nicola Taylor 28.Children and deliberative democracy, Tom Cockburn 29.Governance and participation, E. Kay Tisdall 30.After participation: the socio-spatial performance of intergenerational becoming, Greg Mannion 31.Children as active citizens: an agenda for children’s civil rights and civic engagement, Joachim Theis Conclusion: Emerging themes and new directions, Barry Percy-Smith and Nigel Thomas
Barry Percy-Smith is Reader in Childhood and Participatory Practice at the SOLAR Action Research Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. He has extensive experience using participatory and ‘whole system’ action inquiry approaches in research, evaluation and development projects with children, young people, practitioners and policy makers. He is Coordinator of the Children’s Participation Learning Network, an international forum for critical debate about children and young people’s participation, and has published and presented numerous papers on the subject.
Nigel Thomas is Professor of Childhood and Youth Research at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and Co-Director of The Centre, which exists to promote and research children and young people’s participation, inclusion and empowerment. He has twenty years’ experience of social work practice and has taught and researched extensively in the field of children’s welfare, rights and participation.