Less Telling, More Asking: Meaningful youth engagement at a glance

Our first shared goal at the Children and Youth Planning Table (CYPT) is for children and youth to feel valued, heard, and included. Yet youth in our region have voiced that they do not feel meaningfully involved in the decisions that impact their lives. The CYPT membership, recognizing the importance of youth engagement, has prioritized this an area for collective attention and growth. We put together Less Telling, More Asking: Meaningful youth engagement at a glance; a resource to introduce the concepts of youth engagement and adult allyship.

The information in this resource was informed by:

  1. Local youth voice
  2. The knowledge of CYPT members and local child and youth-serving organizations
  3. National and international research

We are excited to share  Less  Telling, More Asking in a variety of formats to further support skill and capacity development as we, and other adults in the community, seek to meaningfully engage with youth.  Below, you will find the information in 2 formats:  (1)  A PDF  and  (2)  A video series.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to this resource, and share their expertise and experiences in meaningfully engaging youth!


Printable PDF

Click here to be redirected to a printable version of the Less Telling, More Asking: Meaningful youth engagement at a glance resource.


Video Series


Welcome to Less Telling, More Asking: Meaningful youth engagement at a glance! This video will introduce you to our video series that explores meaningful youth engagement and adult allyship. Check out our entire series to learn more about youth engagement and adult allyship best practices, and what you can do in practice to ensure youth are meaningfully engaged in our region.

A big thank you to all our CYPT members, and local youth, who helped to inform the content in this series!


Video 2: Youth Engagement and Adult Allyship: What’s the Difference?

Video 2 in our series explores the differences between the terms youth engagement and adult allyship. We need to consider both as we work towards, and continue to improve, our collaboration with youth through intergenerational partnerships.

At the Children and Youth Planning Table, youth engagement refers to the meaningful participation and ongoing involvement of young people in planning and decision-making at all levels. In turn, adult allyship focuses on an adult’s behaviour and our accountability to youth in the partnership.

Watch this short video to learn more.

Video 3: The Importance of Youth Engagement

Why do we need to focus on engaging youth? The next video in our series explores the potential of youth, and what happens when youth are meaningfully engaged. We look to research to shed light on how youth’s developmental stage links to innovative thinking and creativity. And how this innovation, coupled with a connection to adults in decision making, can have an impact at multiple levels.

Video 4: Youth Engagement Best Practices

We now know why it’s important to engage youth, but how do we do it? The fourth video in our series takes a look at some best practices.

We learned from youth in our community and service providers doing great work in the area of youth engagement to pull together some of the key points we need to consider when meaningfully engaging youth.

Video 5: Characteristics of an Adult Ally

What does it mean to be an adult ally? This short video lists some of the characteristics of an adult ally, and key concepts youth and service providers noted as being important for successful intergenerational partnerships.


Video 6: Adult Allyship: The Adult Role in Youth Engagement

To work effectively in allyship, adults need to take a look at why we (and our organizations) think, behave, and react the way we do.

The next video in our series suggests some key questions to ask ourselves as we prepare to work together with youth, and how our answers to these questions may influence the way we (and our organizations) enter into partnerships.


Video 7: Adult Allyship Best Practices

“Authentic [change] moves at the speed of trust” (Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute). At the core, authentic intergenerational partnerships are built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect. As we wrap up our Less Telling, More Asking summer series, we want to leave you with a deeper understanding of what adult allyship can look like in practice, and how we can consciously work to build trust with the young people we work with.