Youth Participation is a vital element that should be central to the co-design of services equipped to support children with care experience. We see youth participation as much more than a children in care council or a care leaver forum; for us youth participation is a platform that can enable authentic change in the way we design and deliver services. We create platforms for social change – our platforms are online and face to face spaces in which authentic and empowering communication takes place, innovative ideas are formulated and change is inspired; whatever you want young people to be involved in, we have a tried and tested approach to co-design that will engage young people and support sustainable and measurable improvements to your service.
OUR FOUR STEP APPROACH
Our successful four stage method is easy to understand and has been developed across a wide range of youth participation projects.
Firstly you approach us with an idea you’d like young people to be involved in.
Secondly we create a platform through which we run a series of events for young people to come together to share their ideas.
Thirdly with young people we co-design a video and materials to support your ideaand a strategy about how young people can support you moving forward.
Finally we run a co-design session with you service and young people about your
idea and create a structure to work together to bring your idea to reality!
THE APPROACH IN DETAIL
Approaching us with an idea about what you would like young people to be involved in is all you need. We can work with a wide range of opening ideas, for example, a service review, a structure to engage young people, new ways to provide young people with information, or the development of a completely new service. The possibilities are endless. We have worked with over 40 different projects in the UK and beyond, including for example setting up a charity run by care leavers; creating children’s services peer reviews; developing a young people’s strategic board and employing young people to facilitate restorative practice training sessions.
Once we have discussed your idea in detail with you so we have a clear understanding, we plan a series of events that will create the ‘platform’ that engages young people. We start informally. We get out, have fun and get young people talking and engaging creatively before we focus in on what they will contribute to the development of strategy and practice around the idea.
We make a film of the developmental process to capture all the ideas, conversations and feedback from the young people. This is then edited into an inspirational and informative video that highlights exactly what young people are thinking. Young people who cannot be filmed will be involved in the filming process, so that no one is left out.
We review the film with you and discuss the ideas and conversations young people had on the actives. We create graphic materials to feedback to your service and a brief strategy that highlights how your service can engage with young people further and develop your idea.
Finally we work with you to plan an event where we launch the materials, video and strategy with you, giving your services and chosen partners the opportunity to see what young people have created. The event brings together all the partners and young people to further develop your idea, ask questions, plan a strategy and agree a way of working together to implement the idea.