While there is growing recognition of the importance of meaningful youth participation in activities and decisions which impact their lives, facilitating such engagement within different forums requires varied approaches. A programme of youth research at one Western Australian university has sought to embed pathways for ongoing youth participation in longitudinal research. In particular, we discuss Navigating Through Life, a large-scale WA research project comprising three sub-studies exploring young people’s transitions from out of home care (OOHC) to independence. We established a youth advisory group to run alongside the project and employed peer researchers to conduct research tasks. In this paper, we seek to explicate the development and various iterations of youth participation in the project. We utilise our reflections, interview data and documentation from YAG meetings and feedback sessions with the peer researchers to illustrate the processes of transformation and flexibility required to develop and maintain youth participation in various ways across the project’s life. Drawing on our findings and current literature, we highlight how funding bodies and researchers must consider the additional needs, unique and changeable life circumstances of young people to best facilitate their involvement in research.