What is Participation for Protection (P4P)


P4P Overview

‘Participation for Protection’ (P4P) is a European Commission funded project aimed at enhancing child-centred approaches and rights-based supports for children and young people who experience violence, and for those who work with them to better understand their needs. The project, led by Dr Siobhan McAlister, Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast included partners from across Europe. The project adopted a child-rights based approach to develop training and resources for both children and young people and professionals. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre was the Irish project partner, the other project partners were:

 The project originated from the belief that, while there may be training resources for trainees and professionals who work with children experiencing violence, or at risk of violence, these are often developed by adults and hence form an adult perspective. The P4P team wanted to understand from children’s perspectives, what constituted violence, what might act as barriers to disclosing violence and seeking support, what constituted useful support and how professionals could better respond to their needs. During the project, we consulted with over 1,300 children and young people, aged 8 -18 years, across the partner countries, regarding their views on what constitutes harm, what helps in terms of disclosure and what makes for good service responses. Consultations involved children in schools, and specific groups at risk of, or already experiencing violence, including;

  • Children in care
  • Children in detention / in conflict with the law
  • Roma or Traveller children
  • Children living in high conflict communities
  • Child migrants and refugees
  • Children with experience of domestic violence
  • Children who identify as LGBTQ+.

Importantly, two children and young people’s advisory groups, based in Northern Ireland, were recruited from St Ita’s Primary School, Include Youth’s, Give and Take Programme and Newstart Education Centre. They informed key aspects of the project such as developing consultation tools to use with other children and young people, and interpreting the data to draw out key messages from the consultations that provided a framework for the training programme.