Quick Guide to RESPECT

Each letter of R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a principle of authentic youth engagement. These principles were derived from practice-based evidence. Download a copy of the quick-guide to RESPECT and then explore our website to learn more about each principle. 

Simple English Version for Schools

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Simple French Version for Schools

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RESPECT Letters-01

Real Empowerment means… 

Balance of power between youth and adults. * Engagement is more than tokenism. * Youth are involved, as much is possible and feasible, in aspects of the initiative, including planning, implementation, evaluation, management and decision making. * Youth feel a sense of ownership. * There are visible impacts from youth participation.

Read More… See Real Empowerment examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-02

Environment is Youth Friendly means… 

Reduced barriers for youth participation and respect youth challenges. * Location and setting makes it easy to have active and on-going engagement. * Create a safe, fair and collaborative space. * Appreciate diversity and build trust. * Use inclusive language that builds connection. * Find out what a safe, inclusive environment means to each group. * Consider including food, music, arts.

Read more… See Environment is Youth Friendly examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-03

Support & Guidance means…

Build trust. Youth are supported and guided by adults in the activities, and also to take leadership roles. * Respect, encourage and actively listen to everyone’s ideas. * Together, create group agreements around behaviour, roles, expectations and limits. * Adults encourage youth to make their own decisions while still providing a high level of support and guidance. * Youth are encouraged to think critically about their actions and decisions. Be flexible and prioritize youth needs.

Read More… See Support & Guidance examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-04

Participation is Meaningful means… 

Participation is enjoyable. * Youth can be creative. * Build healthy relationships. * Participation matches youth’s interest, it feels meaningful and significant, and is developmentally appropriate. * Participation provides youth with a sense of self-worth and value. * Opportunities for youth to actively engage in different ways according to interests. * Prioritize and design the initiative(s) for on-going recruitment and retention of other youth.

Read more… See Participation is Meaningful examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-05

Establish Goals means… 

Goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic and Timely. * Establish and achieve SMART goals for the initiative. Where possible, youth are involved in setting and attaining these goals. * Youth are supported to establish SMART personal goals.

Read More… See Establish Goals examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-06

Community Matters means… 

Outward focus: Youth focus on being in service to community and making a difference in the lives of other youth, the greater community, and the natural environment. * Space is created within institutions/organizations for youth voice and participation. * Youth have opportunities to establish connections and build relationships with the community.

Read more… See Community Matters examples & resources.

RESPECT Letters-07

Together We Learn means…

Organizations and adults actively build their ability to respectfully engage youth. * Youth and adults build upon their strengths and learn new skills. * Youth learn from each other. * Youth support and mentor other youth. * Youth and adults receive feedback that supports learning and skill development. * Youth have adult mentors and supports to build specialized skill sets (e.g. marketing, social media, art, music, cooking). * Youth and adults are encouraged to take risks and move beyond comfort zones

Read more… See Together We Learn examples & resources.