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Mind the gap: Considering the participation of refugee young people

by Jen Couch

Youth Studies Australia, v.26, n.4, pp.37-44.

In the area of young people and participation, it is sometimes assumed that more is better; however, after many years of experience working with and researching refugee youth, Jen Couch has observed that refugee young people may be placed at risk if participatory programs are ill-conceived and under-researched. She reminds the reader that participation must not be considered an 'ideological absolute' but rather a useful tool for empowering young people and improving their self-esteem. If programs involve families and the wider community, there is a greater chance that everybody will be able to successfully negotiate and accept the changes that participation will make to young people's lives.

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