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The Kids Say Project: Supporting Children to Talk about their Experiences and to Engage in Decision-making

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Research and policy calls for hearing the voices of children and youth in out-of-home care and involving them in decisions about their own lives. The “Kids Say” cards were designed to facilitate this engagement, particularly with Indigenous children and youth. A feasibility study explored the extent to which the Kids Say cards were acceptable to young people, and prompted discussion about their lives and what is important to them. The study involved 47 participants, aged 7 to 18 years, from three cultural groups: Aboriginal n = 20; culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) n = 10; non-Indigenous English-speaking n = 17. The cards were found to be appealing to all three groups, and to facilitate child and youth voice. Findings also did not differ significantly according to gender or age. These preliminary findings indicate the potential value of appropriate practice tools to support children and youth to share their experiences and participate in decision-making.


Engaging resources, such as the Kids Say resource, are potentially valuable in supporting practitioners to encourage children and young people to share their experiences and participate in decision-making about their own care and service needs.

Training in creating safe sharing contexts for children and young people is essential. While emphasis is often given to gathering child voices, there is a need for at least equal emphasis on respectful adult listening.
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Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People; CALD; Child Voice; Practice Tools

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia 2: Winangay Resources, Mays Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: July 3, 2018

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