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Principles of meaningful participation

The principles of safe and meaningful participation with children and young people.

Principles of meaningful participation

  • Children and young people have human rights, including the right to make decisions and to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives.
  • Hearing and acting on the voices of children and young people is essential to their safety and for the quality and safety of services.
  • Children and young people have experience and expertise to share.
  • Seeking, listening to and acting on the voices of children and young people is part of everyone’s role.
  • The voices of children and young people are diverse. All children and young people are valued and respected, and their differences appreciated.
  • The voices of children and young people lead to positive action.
  • Children and young people know how they can participate and are engaged in ways that make sense to them.
  • Participation promotes a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
  • Children and young people are informed and understand what it means to participate and how their participation will link to outcomes.
  • Child and youth participation is ethical, accessible, inclusive, safe and culturally, linguistically and religiously appropriate.
  • Participation is sought from children and young people with lived experience of disadvantage.

We are the experts in our own lives. Government has to stop assuming that they know what's best for us. You can't design a service if you have no idea what it's like to be in care.

Young person, aged 16, Voice of the Child project
Line of figures

Reviewed 14 August 2022

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