Youth engagement and participation are fundamental aspects in the lives of our tamariki.

While there are several different models of what youth participation looks like, the fundamentals are the same; by actively involving young people in decision-making processes and encouraging them to discuss both the issues that are affecting them and what’s important to them, it shows tamariki that they are a valuable contribution to society and that their opinions, feelings, and ideas matter.

So, how exactly do we do that?


Through the use of self-empowerment, it enables tamariki and rangatahi to have greater control over their lives. It improves their relationships, both with others and with themselves, and allows them to manage difficult situations with confidence.

By giving them the freedom to express themselves, supporting their ideas and expression of emotions, and encouraging their passions, we show them that they have control over what they do, and that they can change the outcome.

Purposeful engagement

Purposeful engagement allows rangatahi to address issues that are relevant to them, speak up about what’s important to them, and find purpose in their voice and actions. It allows them to influence real outcomes, and increases their awareness that they have the skills and abilities to do so.

This could look like engaging within educational settings, joining a sports team, or even just engaging in meaningful koreros with their whanau.


In ensuring all young people are able to participate, it creates a feeling of belonging. With many of our children in care, a sense of belonging is often lacking, but by encouraging them to participate and engage, it can create a feeling of inclusiveness and enhance their overall wellbeing.

By embodying the principles of whanaungatanga and creating community connections, we can ensure that our tamariki and rangatahi feel loved, supported, and included.

Youth engagement and participation are vital for any young person, but particularly for our rangatahi in care. By teaching them self-empowerment, encouraging them to engage with what has meaning for them, and including them in the community, we can create positive, fulfilling outcomes for all our tamariki and rangatahi.