Strengthening participatory practice with children and young people affected by sexual violence
Eighteen And Under have a shadow management group consisting of young people. These young people assist in the running and management of the organisation.
Eighteen And Under based in Dundee in Scotland provides long-term confidential support and information to any young person, affected by violence of any kind including sexual, physical and emotional violence. Eighteen And Under provides a crisis drop in service and undertakes street work to reach vulnerable young people. The organisation also develops and delivers evidence-based violence and abuse prevention programmes to schools and communities working with children of all ages, parents and communities to teach them about the root causes of abuse and violence and how to challenge, prevent and stop it. In 2013, the organisation worked with more than 6,000 young people in schools and 630 used the support and information services.
Young people are involved in all aspects of the organisation and they choose their own level of involvement. Eighteen And Under have a shadow management group consisting of young people. These young people assist in the running and management of the organisation, taking part in reviews, helping to set targets, directing the organisation and planning projects. In 2012, 12 young people served on the shadow management group.
The composition of the shadow management group changes over the year with new young people joining and others moving on. The group consists of both young men and young women. Any young person can chose to join, some are services users and some define themselves as volunteers. They choose how often they meet and this varies depending on the members at any one time.
On some occasions they join the management group meetings, sometimes they send a representative and sometimes they share their views with the manager to input on their behalf. The organisation has had a shadow management group for 12 years now and it changes constantly depending on the young people who serve on it. They are in charge of the group and decide as a group how it runs.
The shadow management group has made many changes over the years. They have been involved in every staff recruitment, they have inputted into the development of prevention resources including script writing, acting, proofing and testing out the resources. They have assisted in the delivery of prevention programmes in nursery schools and primary schools. The group also made the decision that a drop-in service would best suit the needs of other young people, and that text support and e-mail support should be provided. The group also help out a lot when it comes to consulting with young people.
There is always a stock of biscuits and juice in the offices as the shadow management group have insisted on this. The office also has up-to-date music on all the time and the young people decide on the décor of the offices.