Policy reforms to children's services in the UK and elsewhere encourage a greater focus on outcomes defined in terms of child well-being. Yet for this to happen, we need not only a better understanding of what child well-being is and how services can improve it, but also the ability to measure child well-being in order to evaluate success.
This book investigates the main approaches to conceptualising child well-being, applies them to the child population using household survey and agency audit data, then considers the implications for children's services. The author:
provides a clear conceptual understanding of five perspectives on well-being: need, rights, poverty, quality of life and social exclusion
demonstrates the value of each perspective
charts levels of child well-being in an inner-London community, including violated rights and social exclusion
sets out the features that children's services must have if they are to improve child well-being defined in these terms
This book should be read by everyone involved in developing, implementing and evaluating children's services, including researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
"This book moves effortlessly and clearly from ideas about well-being, through their measurement, to policy proposals. It is essential reading for those concerned with children's well-being, but I hope that its message will attract a wider audience." Ian Gough, Professor of Social Policy, University of Bath
" Axford has succeeded in providing research that will better equip staff to make assessments with finesse and formulate strategies to suit." Adoption & Fostering
'Axford’s book unpicks the definition of child wellbeing in a strong mix of theoretical constructs and evidence based research.' 'This book has earned its place as
a valuable social care text'. Research, Policy and Planning
"Children's needs, rights, material resources, quality of life and inclusion do not identify the same target groups, and they call forth different 'service styles'. In a rigorous, scholarly yet readable way, the author casts light on the differences between these bases for official intervention in children's lives." Bill Jordan, Professor of Social Policy, University of Plymouth and University of Huddersfield
"This book brings to life established as well as new ideas about child well-being. More importantly, it explains the consequences of adopting one perspective over another. Nick Axford’s investigation is essential reading for those involved in designing, implementing and evaluating services for children." Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor of Social Policy, University of York
Nick Axford is a Researcher at Dartington Social Research Unit, UK. He has worked on numerous projects to measure child well-being in service and community contexts and then use the results to design new services.
Introduction; Part one: Defining and measuring the concepts: Need; Rights; Poverty; Quality of life; Social exclusion; Relationships between the concepts; Part two: The measures applied to children: Prevalence rates and distinguishing features; Relationships between the conditions; Part three: Implications for children's services: Matching conditions and service styles; Developing congruent children's services; Conclusions.