What Youth Engagement is Not

The Freechild Project Youth Engagement Guide

There is a growing amount of confusion about what youth engagement is and is not.

  • Youth engagement is not what you think it is.
  • Youth engagement is not just focused on one issue or activity.
  • Youth engagement is not the same as youth involvement, youth voice, or leadership.
  • Youth engagement does not require youth voice—youth engagement is youth voice.
  • Youth engagement does not need adult approval, guidance, or empowerment. Youth engagement can and does simply happen.
  • If you want to engage young people on purpose, you might be able to do that—but you’d better make it worth replacing something else they’re engaged in right now.
  • Youth engagement is not automatically youth empowerment.


If you’ve read the entire list and you still want to learn what youth engagement actually is, read on…


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Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in your community or organization, contact us.


The Practice of Youth Engagement by Adam Fletcher!
The Practice of Youth Engagement by Adam Fletcher!

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