Following the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the case for children's involvement in decision-making processes has been championed by pressure groups and voluntary organisations. Planning with children for better communities argues that there is now a need to transfer these ideas and experiences to mainstream services of local authorities, regeneration agencies and other organisations.
In addition to clarifying why the issue of children's participation should be prioritised, the authors use examples and case studies from a variety of professions and disciplines in order to explain different methods which can be used to support participation. The book:
analyses children's and young people's contemporary place in local communities;
locates debates about children's and young people's participation in local communities within government social and economic policy;
captures children's and young people's views and experiences of community life.
The authors conclude that there should be greater recognition of the right of children to determine significant decisions affecting them - children have a clear entitlement to involvement in key decisions which influence their lives.
Planning with children for better communities is important reading for local authority planners and policy makers, project workers, community development workers, children's rights officers, youth workers, play workers and students of social and community work and politics. It should also be read by those people in the voluntary and community sector concerned with children's issues relating to planning and community development.
"There is much in this book, written in an accessible and clearly structured way, which will add impetus to an increasingly critical element of public policy debate."
Community development journal.
Claire Freeman is Senior Lecturer (Planning) at Otago University, New Zealand.
Paul Henderson is Director, Practice Development at Community Development Foundation.
Jane Kettle is Senior Lecturer (Planning and Housing) at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Contents: Setting the scene; The contemporary context; Children's rights; Children's participation and the political agenda; Children in the community; Children and professionals; Involving children in regeneration; Children's physical environment; Planning with children.