Their voice: involving children and young people in decisions, services and systems

Children Australia Victoria

This paper examines how the voice of children and young people in State care can better contribute to the decisions that affect their lives.

Today, there is broad recognition of the critical role of the child’s perspective in any valid and effective policy, program, community, educational or legislative endeavour that affects their lives.

This has arisen mainly from a deliberate philosophical shift in the conceptualisation of the integrity and position of the child in society, changes in the children’s rights agenda and new approaches within social science and policy.

Children and young people have both the right and the knowledge to have a voice in their world and in the way the world responds to them. Our challenge is to ensure that we do more than acknowledge their right to voice.

Especially for children who are vulnerable, disengaged or in need of society’s protection, it is time to actively work to ensure the voice of the child and young person is heard in the decisions, policies and services that affect them.

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