In 2011 the Government asked the British Youth Council to promote the involvement of young people in local and national decision-making, to provide support to local authorities and young people with recommendations on how to do this, and to build on existing good practice. This included designing a way for local authorities and Youth Voice Vehicles to assess their current arrangements.

In response to this, the British Youth Council's Youth Voice initiative, with local input, produced a self-assessment toolkit which was provided to local authorities to complete voluntarily and return to us during the summer of 2012.

Self-assessment report

This report, published in July 2013, describes and analyses the results of self-assessments from 70 local authorities, to provide an overview of how effective Youth Voice Vehicles currently are across England, and provides a benchmark against which we can measure change, or offer support.

Case studies

We have compiled the following detailed case studies from local authorities which took part in our research:

The self-assessment toolkit

'Snapshot' of participation mechanisms in local authorities

As part of our research, we asked local authorities to tell us which Youth Voice Vehicles they offer to young people. We received over 100 responses and a list of which local authorities are included in the results is included at the end of this document.

This handbook has been developed to accompany our self-assessment toolkit. It is aimed at managers, practitioners and elected members involved in delivering a youth voice structure within a local authority setting. We don't want to reinvent the wheel - we know there are plenty of participation guides out there, including our own series on how to set up and operate models of youth councils, young mayors and local youth parliaments, and this handbook will signpost you to some of them.