of decisions are made about the lives of young people everyday.
Families, schools, youth programs, city councils, foundations,
government agencies, employers, lawmakers... the list is virtually
endless. There is an equally endless list of reasons why children and
youth need to be engaged in making the decisions that affect them
personally and their communities as a whole. Freechild's Section
Involvement (SIYI) explores how young people are involved in
decision-making throughout society.
This effort- its too divergent to call a
movement- is not only happening in the US. Its not just in North
America either. Young people across Europe, Indonesia, Africa, Asia,
South America and Australia have been struggling for this access to
representation and participation. And its an old movement, too, with a
history in the US that goes back to the 1930s. In other places it goes
back further. There have been many setbacks- and many successes. The
SIYI explores some of each.
RESOURCES: Following are several categories of action where
young people are involved. Each category features examples and
resources promoting child and youth involvement.
Resources for Youth Involvement in...
- Young people participating in organizational planning, evaluation, and/or
youth action councils.
Community Planning - Young people
participating in government and community-driven planning activities.
Funding, Grant-making, and
Foundations - Young people participating in
philanthropy by distributing funds, evaluating grantees, and more.
Global/International Activities - Young
people participating in activities that affect the whole world, including the
- Young people participating in library leadership and activities.
- Young people forming youth action councils, designing programs, participating
in parks and recreation activities, etc.
Young people designing media in all forms, including news, films, and online.
- Young people participating in political parties, as well as political party
responses to youth involvement.
Public Health - Young
people partnering with adults to raise awareness and increase the effectiveness
of health promotion throughout society.
Research - Young people
identifying issues, strategizing research, and conducting data collection,
analysis, reflection, assessment, and evaluations throughout their communities.
Advocacy - Young people calling for greater rights through community
organizing and systemic change.
Schools - Young people participating in
planning, researching, teaching, evaluating, decision-making, advocacy, and
activism to improve elementary, middle, and senior high schools.
- Young people leading and directing projects that connect deliberate learning
objectives with community service.
- Young people participating in boards, committees, commissions, cabinets,
councils, and other avenues to affect state-level policy-making.
State & National Nonprofit Organizations
- Young people involved in action/advisory councils and on boards of directors.
Youth Voice Directory - Young people engaged in
a variety of activities in schools, communities, governments, and other
ways throughout Washington State, USA.
and Movement-Makers - These are the foremost organizations and websites promoting meaningful youth involvement in
community governance, non-profit organizations, and throughout society from
around the world.
- Features more than 100 publications from around the world
about children and youth involvement in
community organizations, philanthropy,
community planning, government, libraries, schools, research and more.
Top 10 Youth Voice Publications
- Our choice selections from hundreds of guides,
stories, reports, and more. A must-see for people who are new to youth
involvement as well as those who've been doing it for years. We've found
gold! All Freechild publications on youth voice listed, as well.
Youth Involvement Trainers, Researchers, and Builders - A listing of
dozens of organizations and programs that offer training, research,
advocacy, and other forms of promotion for children and youth voice, youth
involvement, youth engagement, youth organizing and youth participation.
On Board Organizational Assessment
- A spectacular wake-up call for any individual or organization naively
walking down the road expecting to find youth voice.
Assessing the Quality of the Process Used to Involve Youth
- A nice assessment tool by the Canadian Association for School Health to
study the quality of youth involvement in your organization. This might be
the only critical analysis of youth involvement on the internet today!
measure your organization's level of involvement from this extensive report
and decide where you stand!