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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondI feel it's vital for young people to be involved in decisions about their lives. And I feel that they won't be able to make decisions as adults if they don't have the experience of being involved in decisions, even about the most basic things. Like deciding what to wear, right up to what school they go to. And, yeah, those big decisions that adolescents and young adults make. I think that-- well, first of all, I think the biggest challenge, you know, to have all these strategies to make them to participate. But of course is the biggest, the most important thing, you know, is like, empower them to make decisions about what is good.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsWhat they want to do, what they don't want to do. But I think that our responsibilities, as adults and people who work in care, is to provide them those options, you know. And I think that the most important thing is to talk about real child participation. Children themselves know best about what they want, what they need. And this is very important for the protection of their rights, but as well as their security and the sense of pride and comfort, self-esteem. They need to be heard, as we know from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 12, depending on the majority, I mean, depending on the level of maturity. Their age. They need to be heard.

Skip to 1 minute and 33 secondsParticipation for the young people, the children, this very important. It is their voice, it is their emotion and spirit. Of course. That is one of their rights. They must be participants in their life journey, be able to put their plans into effect in the best way possible. And obviously their participation is vital in that process. Always.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsAbsolutely. It is essential to take the opinion of the boys and girls into account. In all processes that are related to their lives, especially if it deals with a measure that will involve them leaving their homes, or one of the modes of alternative care.

What do care professionals think about participation

In this video, we hear from more care professionals from different countries of the world who attended a conference on Alternative Care held in Geneva in 2016. They tell us about the importance of participation.

They were asked the question - ‘Do you think it is important that children and young people participate in decisions that affect their lives?’

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This video is from the free online course:

Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

University of Strathclyde

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