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UnitingCare Burnside 2002, 'Children and young people's participation in the welfare sector: a literature review: a scaffold for participation in agency work', report prepared by Elizabeth Reimer, Social Justice and Research Program, UnitingCare Burnside, Burnside, NSW.


The work of UnitingCare Burnside (Burnside) is driven by its purpose to provide innovative and quality programs and advocacy to break the cycle of disadvantage that affects vulnerable children, young people and their families in New South Wales. The following literature review on children and young people's participation in the welfare sector is a response to the need to achieve this purpose. The focus of this literature review is to draw out common themes and issues, throughout the Western world, that relate to children and young people's participation in the welfare sector. This is relevant to the purpose of Burnside as well as to the practice priority area relating to participation. The literature reviewed represents a broad sweep of the literature available on the topic at the time of writing and is by no means exhaustive. The first section of the literature review explores some of the history of children and young people’s participation as well as social movements that have been of influence. The second section explores current issues, as raised in the literature reviewed, while the third section outlines five models for participation along with factors that support effective participation.