Policy Press

What Works in Reducing Inequalities in Child Health?

By Helen Roberts


Mar 28, 2012

Page count

208 pages


2nd Edition




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
What Works in Reducing Inequalities in Child Health?

The UK has a deservedly strong reputation for work on understanding social inequalities in health, but there is some way to go in using research and other types of knowledge to reduce inequalities in child health. This revised and updated edition of an important report looks at macro public policy interventions, community interventions, and individual level interventions in a variety of settings, including infancy, early years, childhood, adolescence, and particular needs including looked after children. It considers 'what works' - or might work - in practice. There are new case studies, updated research references, and new reference to cost effectiveness - all relevant for doing the right thing in a climate of austerity.

Drawing on evidence from the UK and beyond, the book presents these in an accessible form, not just for those who make decisions now, but also for the students of today who are the decision makers of tomorrow.

The book is supported by a companion website, containing additional materials for both students and lecturers, which is available from the link above.

"This book is a compelling comprehensive read, providing context and solutions to child health inequalities based on evidence and rights, engendering hope for long term systemic changes and child health improvements." Elizabeth Waters, The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program and The McCaughey Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia

"Highly accessible. This book should be required reading for public health students and it would be a good addition to many social policy reading lists." Critical Public Health journal

"A timely text that pulls together the core issues relevant to those wishing to reduce inequalities in child health" Helen Farasat, Bournemouth University

"This wonderful book tells us we know a lot about inequalities in children's health but less about what to do. It presents information and ideas to help make these decisions." Terence Stephenson, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

"This superbly crafted book is essential reading for all those wishing to right some serious wrongs in our society. Roberts puts the evidence and the power in our hands. " Penny Hawe, Population Health Intervention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada

Professor Helen Roberts is a medical sociologist who works in the UCL Institute of Child Health, London and is an Honorary Research Fellow with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Before this, she set up and ran the Child Health Research and Policy Unit at City University London, and prior to that, spent a decade running R&D with Barnardo’s. She was a non-executive director of NICE from 2004-2013.

Introduction: Inequalities and health; What are the causes of ill health and inequalities in health?; What do health inequalities mean for children?; Why do inequalities matter?; Poverty, inequality and the NHS; Death and disease in childhood; Policy reports and the importance of prevention; What works?; Research, policy and practice; And when there is no evidence?: What kinds of studies help us understand what works?: The challenge of evaluation at a local level; Does it work? How can we design and deliver effective services?; Systematic reviews; The contribution of different research designs; An assets-based approach drawing on lay and scientific evidence; What doesn't work?; Making it work: What works in early life? Infancy and the pre-school period: Death in and before the first year; What works in making a difference?; Cost-effectiveness and early intervention; An intervention not to be tried at home; What works in childhood and adolescence?: What are the problems?; What are some of the solutions?; Education; Disabled children and their families; Adolescence; Teenage pregnancy; Young smokers; Mental health and substance abuse; Tackling obesity in children and young people; What may not help; What works in keeping children safe?: What doesn't work?; What works in making a difference?; Drawing on children and parents' safe-keeping strategies - or what are people doing right?; Child safety and local authorities which consult parents and children; Child protection (non-accidental injury): What works for vulnerable groups?: Background; General health and immunisation; Mental health and emotional well-being; Education; Settled safe accommodation; What helps?; Tackling the causes of the causes; Inequalities in child health; Context; Policies for directly addressing inequalities in child health; Policy implications of health inequalities research: dilemmas of advocacy; And finally.