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Advancing Understandings of Child Well-Being through the Strategic Development of a National Children’s Research Programme

Abstract

The publication in 2000 of a National Children’s Strategy (Department of Health and Children 2000) reflected a paradigmatic shift in national policy around children in Ireland. This shift resulted in a move away from a fragmented approach to individual aspects of children’s lives (such as health, education or protection) towards a holistic approach, more coherent with current understandings of child well-being. The Strategy itself was framed by three goals, one relating to children’s participation in matters that affect them, the second to improved understandings of their lives and the final goal on improving services for children, young people and their families. The implementation of Goal 2 of the Strategy, “children’s lives will be better understood” (Department of Health and Children 2000, p.37) has been led by central government, most recently through the newly formed Department of Children and Youth Affairs and has been operationalised since 2003 through a National Children’s Research Programme. The programme has been conceptually underpinned by an understanding of children’s lives that is coherent with current thinking on child well-being and its implementation has incorporated a strategic national programme of building data, research and information. Mechanisms through which this conceptualisation has been embedded within, and promoted through, the National Children’s Research programme are outlined in this paper.

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Correspondence to Sinéad Hanafin.

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Hanafin, S., Brooks, AM., Roche, G. et al. Advancing Understandings of Child Well-Being through the Strategic Development of a National Children’s Research Programme. Child Ind Res 5, 567–586 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-012-9147-5

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Keywords

  • Child well-being
  • Indicators
  • Research programme
  • Strategy
  • Policy
  • Concept