Ethical considerations are essentially about avoiding any harm to children and young people as a result of their participation in your organisation’s decision making.
Individuals and organisations seeking to involve children and young people in decision making have a responsibility to minimise the risk that children and young people will be harmed physically or psychologically as a result of the participation process.
There are at least two ways in which children and young people can be at risk of harm in the participation process. They can be at risk:
It is therefore critical that your organisation carefully consider the possible negative impacts of involving children and young people, and has procedures in place to minimise risk. One example would be to develop a procedure for notifying a parent, carer or counsellor if a child or young person becomes distressed as a result of their participation.
It is also important to be familiar with legal guidelines that exist to protect children and young people from harm and abuse. For example, in NSW the Working With Children Check is one way that unsuitable individuals are prevented from working in roles where they have direct, unsupervised contact with children and young people.