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Children's right to participate

Evidence-Based Practices
User-Registry Practices

Put in place mechanisms that promote children’s participation in decision making that affect their lives

AKTION GLASKLAR Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2006

Aktion Glasklar is an intervention program to combat youth drinking in Germany. It was first implemented in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in early 2006 and has since been continued under the leadership of Deutsche Angestellten Krankenkasse (DAK) all throughout Germany. The focus of the program is to interact with students and to actively deter them from consuming alcohol at a young age.

Education Maintenance Allowance Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1999

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a means-tested conditional cash transfer programme which pays a cash benefit to each student in families with annual incomes of £30,000 or below who remain in school beyond age 16. The program is intended to encourage participation in full-time education.  During the pilot study which was evaluated, the maximum weekly EMA payment was only available to students in families with annual incomes at £13,000 or below, with students in families with incomes between £13,000 and £30,000 receiving proportionately less each week. Students in families with incomes greater than £30,000 per year were not eligible for the programme. A “retention bonus” was also given at the end of each term that the student completed, and an “achievement bonus” was offered to students who successfully completed their course examinations.  The bonuses were not means-tested and were obtainable by all students eligible for the programme.  In the current versions of the programme, the maximum family income has been lowered to £20,351-£20,817 for families with one eligible child and £22,403-£23,077 for families with more than one eligible child, depending on whether they live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales.  The programme currently applies to students age 16-19.  The retention bonus has been eliminated.  Two achievement bonus payments of £100 are attainable in the Northern Ireland version of the programme but no achievement bonus is offered in the other locations. 

European Drug Abuse Prevention Trial (EU-Dap) Choose translations of the previous link 
Austria, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, 2003

The European Drug Abuse Prevention Trial (EU-Dap) is an experimental evaluation of a school-based drug abuse prevention programme conducted in seven EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Sweden).

The programme, Unplugged, uses a comprehensive social-influence approach to reduce use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs among 12-14 year old students. In the literature, this approach has been repeatedly shown to “reduce onset of use or significantly reduce cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana consumption” among young people (Sussman 2004). Specifically, the Unplugged programme consists of 12 one-hour units taught by classroom teachers who have previously received a 2.5 day training course on the programme material.

Gesunde Kitas – starke Kinder Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2008

The gesunde KITAs – starke Kinder, or Healthy Nursery Centers - Strong Children program’s goal is to fight the childhood obesity epidemic in Germany by prevention, particularly among pre-school children. In order to do so, the program teaches children a mix of balanced nutrition, movement, and relaxation, and also fosters an ongoing health dialogue with parents. As opposed to previous anti-obesity programs, Healthy Nurseries puts a strong emphasis on ex-ante prevention and teaching of a healthy way of living, by connecting and integrating the four project components outlined above. After an initial introductory phase of 12-15 months, the components become part of the center’s daily routine. Final implementation is at the discretion of the program staff at a particular site.

Granton Youth Center Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2003

The Granton Youth Centre (GYC) provides community based support for young people in the British city of Edinburgh. GYC offers specific services for 11-25 year olds that include counselling and employability work, volunteering and peer education, as well as schools based services for the local community. Since its opening in early 2003, the centre has attracted a growing number of young people. Some of the wider goals of the centre are to improve the employment prospects of young people, develop a positive attitude to the benefits of education, promote a healthier lifestyle and improve access to health services. GYC receives a grant funding from the Children and Families Department of Edinburgh City Council amounting to £31,212 (c.a. €36,367) per year. The centre receives additional funding from a range of trusts and organisations.

Healthy School and Drugs Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1990

The Healthy School and Drugs program is a nationally implemented program in the Netherlands, intended to prevent or postpone the onset of use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.  It is a three year program targeted to adolescents, starting in the first grade where students are about 13 years old.  The program consists of an e-learning module of four lessons about alcohol, three lessons about tobacco and three lessons about marijuana.  The lessons aim to increase knowledge about substances, risks associated with substance use and refusal skills for settings where there is group pressure to use substances.  The lessons are made up of short films, animations, interactive tasks, and peer discussion boards.  The three topics were administered in consecutive years between April and July.  A second component of the intervention was delivered to one group of participants which included parental participation, regulation, and monitoring and counseling components.  The parental participation was incorporated as a parent meeting in the first year of the program where parents were provided information about the Healthy School and Drugs program and substance use.  The regulation component was implemented at participating schools in the second year concerning whether and where students were allowed to drink or smoke at school or at school functions.  The monitoring and counseling component was delivered to school personnel in the second year as a training to recognize and provide support to adolescents developing problematic substance use patterns.


Helmet Your Head Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1992  - 2012

“Helmet Your Head” is a hospital-led bicycle promotion campaign that consists of school talks and promotional and awareness events. The school-based talks include age-specific information, true scenarios of children who suffered from head injuries, a demonstration with an egg to demonstrate the effect of a head injury with and without a helmet, and information on how to wear a helmet properly. All children are asked to pledge to wear helmets and the programme includes a low cost helmet purchasing scheme and free helmets for children in low income areas.

Kiva Antibullying Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, 2007

The KiVa programme is a school-wide approach to decreasing the incidence and negative effects of bullying on student well-being at school.  The programme’s impact is measured through self and peer-rated reports of bullying, victimization, defending victims, feeling empathy towards victims, bystanders reinforcing bullying behaviour, anxiety, self-esteem, depression, liking school, and academic motivation and performance, among other factors.  The programme is based on the idea that how peer bystanders behave when witnessing bullying plays a critical role in perpetuating or ending the incident.  As a result, the intervention is designed to modify peer attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of bullying.  The programme specifically encourages students to support victimised peers rather than embolden bullying behaviour and, furthermore, provides teachers and parents with information about how to prevent and address the incidence of bullying.

North Karelia Youth Project Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, 1978

Practice Overview

The North Karelia Youth Project offered a community and school-based educational intervention for seventh graders (students aged 13) to decrease the social desirability of smoking and coach them to resist peer, adult, and media pressure to smoke. The goal of the program was to decrease the number of children who would start smoking for the first time and reduce all the lifetime exposure to tobacco for all children in the program area. Two versions of the intervention were each implemented at an urban and a rural school in North Karelia County in Finland.

In the first version of the intervention, peer leaders from the eighth and ninth grades (students aged 14 and 15) and program staff delivered 10 sessions of the program.  In the second version, teachers were trained and instructed to deliver 5 sessions of the program.  The program included information about a nutritionally healthy diet and the health hazards of smoking as well as demonstration and role-playing to handle social pressure to smoke. During the time of the school intervention, a community intervention for adults was taking place through mass media channels and community organizations.

A second North Karelia Youth Project involving smoking, alcohol abuse, exercise and nutrition was implemented subsequently, and a description of that program can be found in the user registry.

Prevention of Smoking in adolescents with Lower Education Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This intervention was based on peer group pressure and social influence to prevent smoking.  The intervention focused on students in junior secondary education (this is what is meant by ‘lower education’ in the title) and was implemented in twenty six schools throughout the Netherlands. It consisted of three lessons on knowledge, attitudes, and social influence, followed by a class agreement not to start or to stop smoking for five months and a class based competition. Admission to the competition was dependent on having a class with less than 10% smokers after five months. The intervention is similar to the Smokefree Class Competition programme implemented across 22 European countries. The authors added some lessons on attitude and social influence. Two extra video lessons on smoking and social influence were available as an optional extra during these five months. Researchers approached these schools directly and gave them a brief explanation about the intervention in order to motivate them to participate. Eighteen schools agreed to do so. The other eight schools (26 in total) were recruited through four other community health services that approached the schools themselves. Baseline data was obtained through questionnaires administered directly to the students. Data for background characteristics was also obtained through these questionnaires. The Dutch National Institute against Smoking (Stivoro) and The Dutch National Institute on mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) developed and conducted the intervention together with the schools. Stivoro looked at the adherence of schools to the intervention protocol, and collected the registration forms and other documents.  Evaluation was conducted by the authors of this paper.


Last updated 
March, 2014

Restorative Practice Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 2010

The Restorative Practice Programme supports parents, young people and the adults that work with them to build and maintain strong relationships and to easily resolve conflict in a healthy manner. Restorative practices have their roots in restorative justice, which constitutes a way of looking at criminal justice that emphasizes repairing the harm done to people and relationships, rather than simply punishing offenders (Zehr, 1990). Restorative practice (RP) expands on restorative justice approaches to actively encompass prevention strategies by aiming to develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by building relationships and repairing harm (IIRP UK, 2011). In essence, RP offers a set of tools and a framework for working with people of all ages in an inclusive and empowering manner, enabling an approach which fosters collective responsibility and stronger, healthier relationships. The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) has built a body of evidence for the effectiveness of restorative practices in improving outcomes (Wachtel, 2012) and this demonstrates that the use of restorative practices helps to:
• reduce crime, violence and bullying;
• improve human behaviour;
• strengthen civil society;
• provide effective leadership;
• restore relationships and repair harm

School-based Alcohol Education Programme Choose translations of the previous link 

The school-based alcohol education was designed to change knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward underage alcohol use and abuse in middle school students.  The programme was implemented in seventh grade classes of students between 12 and 15 years old at 16 secondary schools near Hamburg in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany in 2006. The programme consisted of four interactive class lessons, a booklet for students and a booklet for parents.  Teachers participated in a three hour training session about the content of the intervention and the intended delivery structure.  Over a three month period, teachers were to distribute a booklet containing information about alcohol and consequences of alcohol use including violence, dependence, medical and economic effects to students and a booklet containing general information about alcohol, interactions with children and behaving as role models to the students’ parents.  Over the same period, teachers were to teach four class lessons, on the following subjects: legal requirements, advertisement, dealing with peer pressure, and acceptable contexts for alcohol.


Last updated: March 2014

Social Influence Decision-Making Smoking Prevention Program Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

The Social Influence Decision-Making (SI-DM) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself.  The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.  

Social Influence Plus Boosters Smoking Prevention Program Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

The Social Influence Plus Boosters (SI+) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself.  The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.  


Social Influence Smoking Prevention Program Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, Romania, 1990  - 2013

The Social Influence (SI) smoking prevention program was based upon the idea that attitudes, social influences and belief in one’s ability to abstain from smoking predict the intention to smoke, and ultimately smoking itself.  The program aimed to educate adolescents and build skills in order to promote healthy attitudes and beliefs related to smoking.

Youth Guidance Centres Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2004

Denmark has set up a youth guidance system to help young people up to 25 years old make the transition from compulsory school to youth education and from education to the labour market. The primary focus of youth guidance centres across Denmark is to provide those who have not started youth education (upper secondary or vocational education) or who have dropped out of youth education with educational guidance. The system has been up and running since 2004. The Danish government’s core objective is to make it easier for the young people to make realistic decisions about learning opportunities and careers for their sake and for the good of society as a whole. Each individual pupil in the 9th and 10th grade at school (i.e. aged 15 and 16) is legally obliged to fill in an educational plan for themselves. The form, which contains information about where the pupil wants to continue with education and what kind of job they would like, is sent to the upper secondary school or vocational school that they decide to attend after compulsory school. There is no checklist to determine whether the pupils’ expectations are realistic but guidance counsellors give the best advice they can to the pupils to that they make the right choice for them. The upper secondary or vocational school uses the document for information purposes (e.g. that the pupil may have literacy problems) and as a basis from which to give the pupil further guidance.


Support the participation of all children in play, recreation, sport and cultural activities

After-School Hours' Clubs Choose translations of the previous link 
Malta, 2009

Klabb 3-16 is an after school hours care service for children aged 3 to 16 years who attend state, church and independent schools. Each club has a co-ordinator, who is responsible for the overall running of that particular club, and a team of dedicated and professionally trained staff.   The clubs run from Monday to Friday between 2.30pm and 6pm (during school days) and between 7.15am and 5.15pm during some holidays. The service offers a planned programme of activities where children can first do their homework, play and take part in activities. Activities include a variety of arts and crafts, storytelling, sports, drama, music activities, cooking and free play. The clubs are located in school buildings, which means that the capacity of each club depends on the buildings’ capacity as well as the staff capacity. Currently, the clubs can look after between 150 and 200 children. "Parents are advised to register their children at the respective clubs. They are also advised to book for the service directly with the club. We are very flexible, even the day before is enough for us. Obviously for better efficiency booking in advance is desirable," said Roderick Agius, the CEO of the Foundation for Educational Services.

Bicycle Helmet Campaign Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2012

The bicycle helmet campaign aimed to give children reasons to use bike helmets, know the dangers of not using them, and feel that they are “cool” when they use them. The helmet was portrayed as something attractive so that everybody felt like using it.  All the children participating in the campaign used helmets during the campaign period. Children with unfashionable or no helmets were able to borrow a new model of their choice from the county, and at the end of the campaign, could purchase the helmet for a reduced price. Enrolled schools received free educational materials, bicycle helmets, questionnaires and materials for competitions between classes. The campaign encouraged children and teachers to have class discussions and sought to involve parents in supporting its goals. Educational material consisted of four booklets that explained danger in traffic and taught some simple rules on how to handle dangerous situations while cycling.
Information drawn from Child Safety Europe Good Practice Guide:

Brede School All Day Community School Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1994

In the Netherlands, all schools – public and private – are fully subsidised by the state. ‘Brede schools’ do not receive extra funding. Rather, the ‘brede school’ policy is linked to local rather than national policy, also in relation to funding. Supporting policies do exist at national level, which stimulate the development of the ‘brede school’ concept. The activities and buildings are further organised and funded through the municipality, school boards and other bodies, such as social work, child day-care, and sport and art organisations. ‘Brede schools’ are open to children of all ages: from pre-school through primary and up to secondary level. There are now more than 1,200 ‘brede schools’ in the Netherlands. In the 1990s, these schools were located in traditionally disadvantaged areas and particularly in those with high rates of migrant inhabitants. These community-centred schools were meant to enhance the chances of these groups and to help families better integrate into society. Nowadays, ‘brede schools’ are increasingly located in a wider variety of areas; not only in large cities in traditionally disadvantaged areas, but in order to maintain a certain level of facilities for children and their parents also in small villages.

Cap Canailles Intercompany Creche Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2009

Employees from seven organisations based in the same area of Marseille in France have been able to put their children in an intercompany crèche called ‘Cap Canailles’ since February 2009. The crèche is located in ‘la Joliette’, an area with some 11,000 employees and 1,000 companies. If they take up the option, parents pay the same rate as for a municipal crèche and the opening times (7.30am until 7.30pm) are longer than for municipal crèches. “Creches in France are hard to come by and there are long waiting lists,” says Marie Pelen, who runs the Cap Canailles intercompany crèche. Looking after young children is a major problem for working parents in France as, on average, there are only nine crèche places available in the country for every 100 children aged up to four.

Fife Cares Child Safety Scheme Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2006

The Fife Cares Home Safety Scheme is a Fife Community Safety Partnership initiative that was launched in 2006. Its goal was to reduce the number of accidents in the home involving children. By visiting individuals and families in their own homes, the service addresses specific needs and provides tailored advice and assistance to families.

The Partnershipʼs Fife Cares Child Safety Scheme offers families with children aged five and under a free home risk assessment. Assessments are undertaken by two Home Safety Advisers who visit families in their homes and conduct a room by room check for hazards. As appropriate safety advice and education is supported through the provision, and sometimes installation, of child safety equipment tailored to a familyʼs individual needs. There is no form filling, no waiting list and all the equipment is fitted free of charge.

Information drawn from Child Safety Europe Good Practice Guide:

Global Provision of Services of CAF Morbihan Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2005

Since 2005, the Morbihan Caisse d’Allocations Familiales [Family Allowance Fund] (CAF) in France has been facing the challenge of providing the department’s users with a different and unique service. The policies implemented are based on the payment of financial benefits and on social action targeted at families, thereby contributing to stability for families and their children and supporting them during times of hardship.  This strategy of assisting families is known as the “global provision of services”. The aim is to provide global and appropriate responses to the diversity of situations and needs of beneficiaries and to develop solidarity with the most vulnerable families.

Helmet Your Head Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1992  - 2012

“Helmet Your Head” is a hospital-led bicycle promotion campaign that consists of school talks and promotional and awareness events. The school-based talks include age-specific information, true scenarios of children who suffered from head injuries, a demonstration with an egg to demonstrate the effect of a head injury with and without a helmet, and information on how to wear a helmet properly. All children are asked to pledge to wear helmets and the programme includes a low cost helmet purchasing scheme and free helmets for children in low income areas.

Improving Preschool Teacher Training Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2010

The Department of Education at Aarhus University in Denmark is leading a four-year (2010-13) project to improve preschool teacher training so that children's emotional and intellectual needs are better looked after from an early age. Another aim is help day care centre staff develop techniques to ensure that all children play a full part in their group of children, also known as 'social inclusion'. The Danish government is providing just over one million euro of funding. The main difficulty being tackled is that many Danish children whose parents are poor, unemployed, have no education or are on welfare are at a greater risk of having developmental and wellbeing problems and of being excluded from society in later life. The project is being carried out with three Danish preschool teacher training colleges and is aimed at 120 day care centres developing new practices for children aged between three and six years old. These colleges run training courses for directors of day care centres and one member of staff. The Department of Education runs seminars just for the directors. The cost (travel and paid time off) of sending the staff and directors to these events is picked up by the four Danish municipalities involved in the project. Over the three years of the project, a director and one member of staff from each day care centre will have spent 17 days on training courses and directors will have spent another six days on seminars with other directors. Of the one million euro from the Danish government, one third of this is being used for the courses and seminars; a third for a study on the effects of the project and a third on analysis and administration.

MEND: empowering children and adults to become fitter, healthier and happier and to reach or maintain a healthier weight Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2000

MEND offers free, evidence-based obesity prevention and treatment programmes in the local community for children aged 2-13. Established in 2004, the MEND Programme was devised by child obesity experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the University College London Institute of Child Health, to help children and their families become fitter, healthier and happier. MEND works with local, regional and national partners to deliver over 400 programmes across the world which have benefitted over 20,000 families. In addition to MEND's healthy lifestyle programmes for children and their families, MEND offers class room resources, obesity management training for front-line staff and facilitated self-help programmes for adults. An independent study published in Obesity Journal in February found that children who attended the MEND Programme experienced long-term health benefits, including sustained weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem.

Programa Juego Choose translations of the previous link 
Spain, 1992

Programa Juego (Play Program) for preschool children is a cooperative-creative play program designed to support creative thinking in children 4 to 6 years old.  The program consists of a once-weekly 75-minute play session which is directed by the children’s regular teacher.  During the session, the teacher promotes creative thinking, cooperation among children, and the importance of experimentation.  The 24-session program is manualized with defined games, instructions for the teacher, and suggested questions to promote debate after the games conclude.  There are a total of four Play programs, additionally including the Play program for children 6-8 years, 8-10 years, and 10-12 years, however only the preschool program is described here.  The program has been in operation since 1992 in various regions of Spain.

STOP4-7 Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium, Netherlands, 2000

STOP4-7 is an early intervention for children (aged 4 to 7) with (serious) behavioral problems. The programme consists of three group training interventions: for the children (10 whole day sessions), the parents (10 2-hour sessions) and the teachers (4 3-hour sessions) involved. Besides these training sessions,  homevisits and schoolvisits are also part of the programme.  The first phase consists of training sessions (three months): learning of skills and enhancing parents and teachers. Some home and school visits help to individualize the learning process. The second phase (home and school visits; three months) is aimed at strenghtening the changes accomplished in the first phase. To help children grow up in a prosocial way it is necessary to include parents and teachers to help them, by changing their living and learning environment.

TigerKids Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2014

The ‘‘TigerKids’’ intervention programme was developed to enhance regular physical activity and to modify habits of food and drink consumption in preschool children. The objectives of the programme are threefold: a) to increase physical activity games at the Kindergarten setting to at least 30 min/day; b) to replace high energy density snack foods with fresh fruit and vegetables and establish consumption of at least two portions/day of vegetables and fruits as a habit; c) to replace sugared beverages with water or other non-sugared drinks (e.g. non-sugared fruit tea) in the day care and reaching a habitual consumption of not more than one glass/day of sugared drinks and juices.

Vouchers for childcare, sports and music Choose translations of the previous link 
Luxembourg, 2009

Introduced in 2009, childcare-service vouchers (Chèques-Service Accueil) in Luxembourg form the “first piece in the puzzle that makes up free childcare” according to Marie-Josée Jacobs, Minister for Family and Integration. Under the scheme, all children under the age of 13, irrespective of household income, have access to a limited number of hours of free or subsidised childcare or after school activities. Children in vulnerable situations benefit from additional free or reduced-cost hours. Vouchers can be claimed by parents of all children who are resident in Luxembourg and aged 0-12 and/or still in primary education.  Childcare-service vouchers can be used at half-way centres (or maisons –relais), crèches, daycare centres, nurseries and boarding schools as well as for the services of parental assistants.  The scheme has also been extended to cover music schools and sports clubs within the child’s town or district of residence.

Youth Banks Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 1999

YouthBanks are an all-island Irish initiative through which young people aged between 12 and 25 invite other young people in the same age group to come up with and run projects that address issues and concerns relevant to them and their community. The average age of those responsible for deciding whether or not a given project receives a grant is 17 or 18. It was set up as a pilot in Northern Ireland in 1999 before being rolled out across Ireland in 2006 after Ulster Bank stepped in with €1.9 million of investment. The central idea of YouthBanks is to build on young people’s skills and experiences to enable them to reach their full potential, to play a full part in their own communities and to become active citizens.