Young Speakers on line has been developed to inspire those working with children – whether directly or indirectly – to listen to what children and young people themselves think about various issues. We want to present a new approach, using tools that extend beyond interviews and conversations.
The core idea of Young Speakers is that children are experts in their own situation and can provide valuable insight by sharing their experiences and opinions.
By working with Young Speakers, you gain important knowledge, information, ideas and views from the children and young people themselves. You get a valuable contribution to the issue or investigation you are working with. Your basis for decision making is broadened, making your decisions more well-informed and of higher quality. It also makes it easier for you to conduct impact assessments of proposed decisions relating to children.
The heart of the method is to seriously listen to what children and young people have to say, and to let them speak their mind without interrupting them with your own values and opinions.
This approach helps to create a trusting and secure environment for the child. It enables him or her to communicate a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area in question.
We focus on those working with issues that affect children and young people. Whether you work at a municipal, county council, regional or national level, it is important to listen to the opinions and experiences of children and young people.
All municipalities, county councils and regions, as well as most government authorities, have operations where children and young people are affected by the decisions made.
For authorities, it could be the planning of new residential areas and roads. It could be crime prevention and security-building work, or the development of regulations and guidelines in various areas affecting children and young people.
In county councils and regions, there are several operations affecting children and young people both directly and indirectly. Public transport, which children use to a very large extent, is one area where they can share their experiences and opinions. In healthcare, relevant operations include everything from paediatric care to outpatient care, inpatient care, child psychiatry and operations affecting children with functional needs.
In the municipalities, there are a number of operations affecting children and young people every day. These include social services, schools, child care and cultural and recreational activities. Their knowledge and ideas could be utilised to a greater extent than they are now.