Participation

We believe that:

  • Young women are experts on their own lives.

  • Young women have innate resources, competence and resilience.

  • People affected by a problem are best placed to find the solutions.

  • We must shift traditional power hierarchies in service delivery in order to enable young women's participation in solution building.

  • We must support young women to have their voices heard in order that they can influence the design and delivery of services.

We therefore adopt:

  • Youth work principles

  • Participation principles

  • Solution focused brief therapy techniques

Youth work principles

In our approach we:

  • Work ‘alongside’ young women

  • Start from where they are and be led by their “felt needs”

  • Respect their empirical knowledge of their own lives

  • Encourage them to develop a “critical consciousness” of their worlds, their experiences, and how they are affected by these

Participation principles

In our approach we:

  • Work in a non-hierarchical way

  • Challenge unequal dynamics power & oppression

  • Tip the balance of power in favour of young women

  • Ensure young women inform future practice and services

  • Recognise that young women are best placed to identify issues and solutions

Solution focused brief therapy techniques

In our approach we:

  • Work to the young woman’s ‘best hopes’ or desired outcomes

  • Engage with competence

  • Look for alternative narratives of her and her life where she has previously demonstrated competence

  • Obtain detailed descriptions of what life will be like when changes are made

  • Trust the young woman’s ‘version of events’

  • Are interested in the young woman and not the problem

  • Develop techniques to understand and strategise around big and sometimes ‘unmanageable’ feelings