Badge System for Youth Participation
Developed by Breakthrough foundation and Jeugdwelzijnsberaad network of youth care youth councils
The Youth Council badge system is developed especially for young people who are participating in youth care youth councils to support them in recognising skills and achievements of their membership. Badge earners are young people from youth councils between 12 and 18 years old. These young people are often familiar with digital tools. By using Youth Council badges young people will have a better understanding of what kind of activities they develop, organise and accomplish. This will in turn grow their self-esteem and help them to identify the scale of their achievements. Focusing on positive skills and experiences is important for this target group because there are many areas in their life that are not going as well for them.
For youth councils Open Badges will provide a much needed way of monitoring and demonstrating outputs and outcomes of the work they are doing. We believe that Open Badges give acknowledgement and recognition of the vital work youth councils do advocating for the rights and needs of young people in youth care on a local, regional and international level.
For many years, young people have being demonstrating how useful and important participation of young people is for advising management and carrying out research in youth care. The participation of youth councils in decision-making often has a positive impact on young people, changing their situations for the better. However, this good work is not always recognised or acknowledged by young people themselves, social workers or organisations.
Objectives of the badge system
- To connect the learning of youth council members with lifelong learning competences.
- To provide young people in youth councils with a place to view, control and access their achievements digitally.
- To recognise achievements and competences of young people in youth councils.
- To develop a badge system in collaboration with young people from youth councils.
The logic of the system
The badge system is made up of three ‘levels’ of badges that unlock as young people progress through the system. At first people need to earn 1st level badges, unlocking 2nd and finally 3rd level badges. There are 27 badges in total across nine different competence areas: (1) on-boarding and membership, (2) skills in holding meetings, (3) communication skills, (4) presentation skills, (5) debating, (6) working on projects, (7) learning to learn, (8) social competence and (9) digital competence.