The Communities for Children initiative sets out to “provide communities with the opportunity to identify and resolve their own issues”. As a result, many Communities for Children programs focus on engaging families in community activities. This paper examines the benefits of community participation for children, families and communities; then goes on to look at the challenges associated with encouraging participation in communities experiencing social exclusion. The paper provides best practice principles for service providers on building pathways to community participation. These are drawn from practitioner interviews and case studies. Most of these community participation initiatives focus on adults rather than children.