YouthChange

What is it?

This year (2019) we are launching YouthChange. Youth Change is an eco-system of participation; a hands-on learning experience for children, young people, educators and civic partners. We want to create a space where children, young people, schools and civic partners can work collaboratively to create more inclusive and responsive policies.

The participatory nature of YouthChange fosters positive relationships built on children and young people being valued for their opinions and contributions. Children and young people feel respected and valued through their participation which increases their self-worth and connection to their peers. YouthChange also promotes inter-generational relationships where professionals and civic leaders see children and young people’s experiences and opinions as legitimate.

We know that children and young people have an increased sense of social and emotional wellbeing when they participate in systems and decisions that affect their lives. Children and young people feel a sense of social inclusion when they are recognised by others as social actors with rights and the capacity for responsibilities. It also gives them a sense of social responsibility to the wider community.

Background

The Commissioner for Children and Young People has heard that young people in South Australia want to contribute to the vision, strategy, culture and operations of public institutions, laws and governance. They want to matter, be connected to a purpose and have their individual and collective strengths and contribution recognised. Young people have told us how meaningful participation promotes positive relationships and improves their general wellbeing.

We must engage children and young people, and provide opportunities to build a society based on increased honesty, integrity, transparency and equality. This will strengthen our democratic institutions and structures and protections that underpin the fabric of civil society, and promote economic and social justice.

Find Out More about our YouthChange Project