The Involved project focuses on user participation in child protection, family protection and mental health services for children and young people. We develop research-based service support that maps and handles challenges related to implementing and quality-assuring user participation. We work closely with services, user organizations and political level. More information: involvert.no
User participation in services for children and young people has in recent decades become a national and international legally anchored authority ideal. Norway ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991. The Involved project starts from the fact that we need more research-based knowledge about different understandings of children and young people's participation, what challenges can arise and how these challenges can be solved in practice. The project consists of a research part and a service support part, the website Involvert.no.
We are researching various actors' understandings and practices of children and young people's right to be heard in the transition from the authority's ideal to everyday practice. We focus particularly on child protection, family protection and mental health services for children and young people, in line with RKBU North's social mission. An important goal is to thematize challenges related to user participation, and how these challenges can best be solved from different perspectives. What does "user participation" or "the child's right to be heard" actually mean for different users and professionals in different situations and services? Is the participation of children and young people always desirable and possible? Can theoretical perspectives contribute to increased reflection and knowledge in the field of practice around such important questions?
The research team
From the left: professor Bente Kojan, NTNU, professor Renee Thørnblad, RKBU North, associate professor Petter Viksveen, UIS, professor and leader of Involved Anita Salamonsen, RKBU North, research professor Rolf Ahlzen, University of Karlstad, Sweden. Foto: Mariann S. Karlsen/ UiT