Mapping Child and Youth Participation Practices in Child Helplines

A Youth-led Project

In January of this year, the #Youth kicked off their research project. This project aims to understand the components and the spread of existing child and youth participation practices in child helplines, as well as the challenges and good practices of child and youth participation. This research project is a first of its kind, being led entirely by our youth advisory council.

In line with our efforts to strengthen the voices of the youth, we aim to build a connection between the #Youth and other existing youth advisory councils (or similar) in child helplines who are members of our network. In doing so, we hope to also strengthen the relationship between the #Youth and our child helpline members. But first, we need to understand the structures that are already in place within the network.

In January the #Youth members sent out a survey to the child helpline members within their respective regions. We received 48 submissions out of the 131 members contacted, which means that 37% of our full members participated in the survey. Currently the #Youth are in the process of analysing the data and will soon begin drafting the report.

Preliminary Results, A Snapshot

From the data received through the survey, we are already able to put together some preliminary results.

  • The majority of our surveyed members confirmed that they have child and youth participation practices within their child helplines.
  • The members that do not have child and youth participation practices cited ‘lack of time’ and ‘lack of financial resources’ as the main reasons why. Whilst ‘not a priority’ was chosen by one child helpline member as a reason, it was chosen in combination with the aforementioned reasons.
  • For child helplines that have child and youth participation practices, ‘very involved’ and ‘somewhat involved’ were the main answers chosen when asked about child and youth involvement in the child helplines’ day-to-day operations. When asked about child and youth involvement in decision-making processes, child helplines’ answers vary greatly by region.

The research report will contain even more data and analyses, giving us important insight into existing structures and practices of child and youth participation within our network, and will also allow for comparisons across and between regions. Once ready, the research report will be shared within our network.




This project is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020). The content of this article represents only the views of the author and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.