What is Participation?

Participation means the active involvement of children and young people in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

EPIC believes that children and young people in care and those with care experience are experts in their own experience and as such, are committed to empowering children and young people to voice their opinions to influence change at  a local, national and international level.

What does Participation in EPIC look like for a Child or Young Person with Care Experience?

Safe space

Participate in an inclusive and respectful group environment.

Explore their experiences of the positives and challenges of being in care.

Advise EPIC and other services how best to improve the lives of children in care.

Know their rights.

Opportunity to gain confidence and develop new skills.

Understand how their voice can influence meaningful change.

To have fun and make new friends.

Get vocal, get social, and get together in celebration of our care-experienced community!!!



What Model Guides EPIC’s Participation?

In EPIC our work is guided by Professor Laura Lundy’s Model of Participation.

This Model provides a way of conceptualising Article 12 of the UNCRC, which states that children have the right to express their views; and for their views given due weight.

It is important to view this model as cyclical, each element naturally compliments the other, which in turn promotes the positive and meaningful participation of children and young people.

The four elements of the Lundy Model Include:

  • Space: Provide a safe and inclusive space for children to express their views.
  • Voice: Provide appropriate information and facilitate the expression of children’s views.
  • Audience: Ensure that children’s views are communicated to someone with the responsibility to listen.
  • Influence: Ensure that children’s views are taken seriously and acted upon, where appropriate.

Source: Lundy’s Voice Model Checklist for Participation as included in Ireland’s National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making 2015-2020


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