Young People as Social Actors: An examination of young people’s perspectives on the impact of participation in DCYA initiatives
Project Team: Dr. Shirley Martin (PI), Dr. Catherine Forde, Dr. Audrey Dunn Galvin, Dr. Angela O’Connell
Project Researcher: Dr. Angela O’Connell
Funded by: IRCHSS RDI Strand 9 and CACSSS
Duration: Dec 2010 – September 2012
The project investigates the experiences and outcomes of participation for children and young people who have been involved in Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) initiatives over the last ten years. The project uses participatory research methods to develop a research and evaluation model that takes account of children’s and young people’s voices, is informed by consultation with the DCYA and is grounded in national and international literature. This will include the voices of ‘seldom heard young people’ who have participated in DYCA initiatives, in recognition of the unique perspective which they can offer. This investigation encompasses a holistic conception of participation that is underpinned by four realms of impact - personal, familial, communal and institutional (Hart, Newman, Ackermann and Feeny, 2004). Participatory research methods treat young people as experts and agents in their own lives and allows for reflexivity in the research process. Young people in this study will be trained as researchers, involved in the collection and interpretation of the data, and contribute to its dissemination.