Child Well-Being: Understanding Children's Lives by Colette McAuley, Wendy Rose, Gillian Pugh

By Colette McAuley, Wendy Rose, Gillian Pugh

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Extra info for Child Well-Being: Understanding Children's Lives

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A focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of well-being. 2. A common approach to gaining consent and sharing information where appropriate. 3. An integral role for children, young people and families in assessment, planning and intervention. 4. A co-ordinated and unified approach to identifying concerns, assessing needs, agreeing actions and outcomes, based on the well-being indicators. 5. Streamlined planning, assessment and decision-making processes that lead to the right help at the right time.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) clearly offers a normative framework for understanding child well-being with its emphasis on: establishing basic rights for all children; seeing children as citizens in their own right; giving equal weight to a range of interrelated rights; and having their views taken into account on matters directly affecting them. It has been argued that it is these ideas that have led to current conceptualisations of well-being, which are inclusive of all children, start from the child as the focus of analysis, adopt an ecological model of development (Bronfenbrenner 1979), recognise the many dimensions of children’s lives, and see children as acting and interacting with multiple influences in their environment (Ben-Arieh 2008).

In the light of the growing consensus of the centrality of family to children’s well-being, we have decided to devote the greater part of this chapter to examining what we do know about children’s views on families, significant others and their wider emotional life from a range of studies and consultations that have directly asked children about these matters. Initially, we look at children living in different family types and the family life of disabled children, and then we move on to examine what we know from studies where children are living in difficult family circumstances.

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