Social policy and the changing concept of child well-being: The role of international studies and children as active participants

Asher Ben-Arieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social policy refers to the overall actions and services a society takes to ensure the well-being of its citizens. As such, children are at the forefront of social policy, and Investing in them is both crucial for their current well-being and an investment toward the future. However, the concept of child well-being is changing. Scholars have termed this shift as one of moving from child-saving to child development or from child welfare to child well-being. This changing context, which in many ways is still developing, is complicating the effort to develop appropriate indicators and outcome measures of children's quality of life and status and consequently it is complicating the evaluation of social policy and its contribution. This paper presents the changing context of children's well-being, the major shifts that have occurred in the field, and their implications for evaluating social policy. It then goes on to discuss the potential of international comparisons in evaluating social policies and in particular the new role for children's subjective reports on their well-being as a tool for evaluating social policy. In that regard, the paper presents the International Survey of Children's Well-Being and concludes with a call for new policies that will adhere to the new concept of children's well-being and serve to create a better life for children.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)569-581
Number of pages13
JournalZeitschrift fur Padagogik
Volume60
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Child participation
  • Children rights
  • Children's quality of life
  • Children's well-being
  • Social policy

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