Young Children’s Right to Participate in Child Protection Decision Making
School of SSESW academic Karen Winter (Social Work) joined Alicia Toal, Chief Executive of Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC), to host an online discussion with colleagues from across Europe on how young children can be supported to more actively participate in decisions regarding their care and welfare. A video of the discussion is available at Little Voices, Big Decisions.
The online event included an overview of the PANDA Project, a European project that promotes the participation of young children (up to age 12) in decision making by strengthening professionals’ collaboration with young children involved in child welfare and child protection services. The project aims to:
- Increase the skills and competence of social workers.
- Support organisations to create the necessary conditions for collaboration with children.
- Provide a framework for policy officers and managers to implement a participatory approach.
- Provide trainers with tools and methods to aid children’s participation.
Karen Winter commented: ‘Social work has made great strides in promoting the participation rights of children and there are some great examples of excellent practice. The aim of this project is to strengthen knowledge and skills regarding the participation rights of children aged 12 and under. We want to reach a situation where we see all children as partners rather than simply recipients of social services and where collaborating with young children to place their experiences, their views and their perspectives at the table for equal consideration alongside those of all adults is not the exception but the norm’.