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Research on the Transformation of Deliberative System at Shin Jan Residential Home
Youth residential home
Youth Participation and empowerment
The Deliberative System
Abstract The gaps and the conflicts between the complicated emotions and behaviors of youths living in residential home and the regulations set by the residential home have always been the central issues of the youth placement institutions. In the recent years, with the public attention to child and youth rights protection, youth participation and empowerment are increasingly much concerned about. In 2017, Shin Jan Residential Home began the plan of the deliberative system for the violations of regulations with the expectation to empower the youths and to establish a system for the youths to express their opinions. However, after practice, it was found that the system would also bring the risks of identity and privacy exposure, phony interpersonal relationship and power inequality; therefore, with the aim to have an overall understanding of the execution of the system, this research firstly reviews 18 copies of conference minutes between January 2017 to December 2017. Secondly, in-depth Interviews and focus groups were conducted to gather experiences from different participants (which includes 15 youths who still live in Shin Jan, 3 youths who have left from Shin Jan, and 8 Shin Jan staffs) and also to collect their suggestions on the deliberative system itself. The purpose of the research is to provide references for the system’s future transformation and the improvement. The findings of the research are shown below: 1. The current situation of the deliberative system in Shi Jan Residential Home:The deliberative system has brought positive influences such as using positive supports instead of negative punishments when managing problems; decreasing numbers of multiple punishments on one violation; emphasizing on the positive self-changing plans of youths. Nevertheless, it has caused negative influences as well. For example, the lengthy meeting would affect the effectiveness of the system; the privacy exposure is the major concern of the youths; violating the regulations still happens repeatedly. 2. Opinions about the deliberative system in Shi Jan Residential Home：The youths and the staff have expressed diverse experiences and opinions after participating in the deliberative system. The youths found that they had an appropriate and official way to express their opinions. Besides, they recognize the system as a great way of communication. Moreover, they consider the system as an opportunity to strive for their rights. In the meantime, they regard the system as a concern of identity and privacy exposure and they feel the threat and peer pressure. Although the staffs agree to the system, they responded that the system is inefficient and the youths need more understanding and training to the system at the moment. 3. Suggestions to the deliberative system in Shi Jan Residential Home:The participants who have attended the system made suggestions on system planning, system execution, participants selecting and practical improvement. For example, the education and the training of the system should be conducted in advance; confidentiality and individuality should be emphasized and managed; the willingness of the participants should be valued.
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