Chilypep have adopted some principles and protocols that we use whenever we are asked to involve young people in consultation and participation activity. These are to help people think through how they can meaningfully engage with young people, and to help young people decide what activity they wish to engage in.

The principles were developed by Chilypep and other participation workers in Sheffield who formed the Workers Involved in Participation Projects with Young People group, (WIPPY) and spell out our approach to participation work. We work through these with organisations who ask us to work with them to engage young people, and also as part of our Participation training package.

The protocol is designed by young people and asks organisations to be clear about why they want to engage with young people around a particular consultation or involvement activity they have approached them about. It also encourages people to consider the cost of the activity, how they will support young people’s engagement, and how they will feed back to them about what influence their involvement has achieved.

WIPPY Principals of Participation- The Way We Work

Honesty…by honesty we mean:

• Identifying a clear purpose about what the process wants to find out and why
• Being honest with children and young people about what can and can’t be changed
• Agreeing any record keeping as a true reflection of children and young people’s views and ensuring that permission is sought for use of their work

Communication…by communication we mean:
• Using processes that are children and young people friendly, which respect different ages, understanding, abilities and styles
• Using children and young people’s words whenever possible and avoiding the use of jargon
• Involving children and young people at all stages of the process, including planning and feedback in a manner that works for them

Realism…by realism we mean:
• Giving only commitments that we can honour
• Ensuring sufficient resources and funding are identified to carry out the agreed work
• Committing sufficient time to ensure a process of high quality that is respectful to children and young people

Inclusion…by inclusion we mean:
• Increasing access for a diverse range of children and young people, not merely the most visible
• Tailoring the process to be appropriate to their age, skills, experience and abilities
• Developing appropriate strategies that work towards equal opportunities practice throughout the process

Respect…by respect we mean:
• Making sure children and young people’s voices are heard and acted on; and they are told what has and has not changed as a result
• Working without prejudging the outcome or the contributions of the participants
• Offering support to help children and young people to speak freely and power gaps to be bridged
• Providing a process that is a positive experience for children and young people

Recognition…by recognition we mean:
• Genuinely acknowledging the contribution from children and young people of their time and skills
• Acknowledgement that expenses may be incurred by the children and young people and that these are supported within the work resources
• Offering incentives and rewards appropriate to the children and young people we work with
• Providing appropriate access to accreditation opportunities

Please use the form below to offer a consultation or involvement opportunity to Chilypep young people’s groups.

Participation Principles Protocol and Opportunity form