This is the fourth of 5 tips or suggestions on how to make children and young people’s participation work. Check out parts 1, 2 and 3 for more details.
1. It is not a wish list
2. Always give feedback
3. Make it accessible
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LEVEL FOR YOUR GROUP
There are lots of models of participation, the most popular and widely used is Harts Ladder. (http://www.freechild.org/ladder.htm ) Harts Ladder gives you 7/8 levels to work from progressing from manipulation and tokenism (which are NOT participation) to child lead activities. personally, i don’t like the model. It suggests that children need to be leading an activity; coming up with all the ideas for it to be great participation and encourages people to aim for the top. This isn’t strictly the case. I prefer to use models which give you TYPES of participation not levels. Not all children have the confidence, skills, knowledge, inclination to lead on a project. this doesn’t mean you have failed to do great participation. it might be that keeping a child informed of the process is as much as they want or you can do within the confines of your role. This is still participation.
Final installment to follow