The Child and Youth Participation Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Children’s Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland is proposing to write a book on child and youth participation in Ireland. In recent years Ireland has been at the forefront of promoting rights based participatory approaches when working with children and youth. This edited volume provides the opportunity to showcase the constructive, creative and innovative approaches to child and youth participation across the domains of research, policy and practice. The body of work to date in Ireland has been valuable in asserting its importance and generating learning, nonetheless, participation is a contested concept and key challenges remain which will be interrogated in this book. It is proposed that there will be three sections in this edited book, focused on rights based participatory approaches to policy-making, practice and research.

Policy: This section will document the Irish Government’s commitment to child and youth participation, originating in the National Children’s Strategy 2000 to the present National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making (DCYA, 2015) - the first of its kind in Europe. As well as documenting the development of the policy framework in place supporting children and youth participation, this section will examine both Governmental and Non-Governmental participatory structures for consulting with children and youth in Ireland for the purpose of giving them a stronger voice in policy-making.

Practice: This section will present case studies of how practitioners in Ireland have operationalised rights based participation in practice, across a range of contexts including, early years settings, schools, youth work, the courts, the child welfare and protection system and mental health services. The authors are interested in case studies of practices with different cohorts of children, including, marginalised cohorts. It will examine the conceptual frameworks and methods underpinning these approaches and the challenges of participatory practice with children and youth.

Research: Presently participatory approaches to research are gaining prominence across disciplines. Children in Ireland are becoming more actively engaged in the research process, participating in research design, choice of methods and analysis. This section will present case studies documenting efforts to achieve deeper engagement through a variety of approaches with children and youth. However, along with the growth of child and youth participatory research, there is an awareness of its complexity, specifically unaddressed power inequities in the research relationship as well as non-reflexive use of methods and consideration of the time and resources required. Throughout, there will be an emphasis on ethical issues in participatory research with children.

  • Authors are asked to include in their abstract the aim and objectives of their chapter and identify which section is a best fit for their proposed chapter.
  • Abstracts must be no more than 500 words and emailed to ChildrensResearchNetwork@tcd.ie by November 22nd 2019.
  • All authors from the first and second call for abstracts will be informed of the outcome of the abstract review process by December 13th.
  • For publication in the book, authors are required to be CRN members. More information on membership is available on the CRN website.