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Youth Advisory Groups – Supporting young people to lead

Oral Presentation

October 13th 2022 at 9:30am

Institution: Very Special Kids - Victoria, Australia


Our society is enriched, and contemporary thinking inspired when young people have access to decision making processes. Children and young people are experts in their own lives. Both bereaved siblings and young carers have a body of experience and knowledge that is unique to their situation. Therefore, initiatives designed for children and young people by children and young people are far more effective and likely to succeed. By creating collaborative partnerships with young people, we aim to empower them to share their expertise to help us strengthen service delivery and improve access to a diverse range of supports.

The aim of this presentation is to share insight into the establishment of a Youth Advisory Group within a paediatric palliative care setting including discussion around organisational rationale, motivation, and intent. We will then hear directly from participants about what the Youth Advisory Group experience has been like for them.
In addition to exploring the practicalities involved in setting up a Youth advisory group, we’ll discuss the importance of breaking down accessibility barriers to ensure all young people have the chance to contribute. This presentation will engage in direct conversation with young people about the best way to forge authentic and meaningful collaborations and prove you’re really listening!
Adults need to be open to changing their ways and making decisions in response to what young people tell them. Richly and uniquely informed by their lived experience, we aim to increase capacity to meet the needs of adolescent and young adult siblings whose families are connected to a range of paediatric palliative care support services. This is an invitation to listen closely, to respect, honour and act upon the expert advice that comes from young people with an impressive drive to make a real difference in the lives of others.


  • Ms Jessica Birnbaum

    Manager & Senior Social Worker, Family Support Team - Very Special Kids

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