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Child well-being in the UK in a comparative perspective Jonathan Bradshaw CRSP Conference 2006 A Fairer Society? A Review of Policies for Vulnerable Groups.

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Presentation on theme: "Child well-being in the UK in a comparative perspective Jonathan Bradshaw CRSP Conference 2006 A Fairer Society? A Review of Policies for Vulnerable Groups."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child well-being in the UK in a comparative perspective Jonathan Bradshaw CRSP Conference 2006 A Fairer Society? A Review of Policies for Vulnerable Groups. Holly Park Conference Centre, Loughborough University, 20 September 2006

2 Outline Background Trends in child well-being in the UK Comparison of child well-being in the EU Conclusion

3 Background: UK policy Follows on from Roberts paper on child poverty UK government also much preoccupied with child well- being as well as poverty: Every Child Matters; Opportunity for All. Elaborate raft of policy measures: Cash/tax benefits Increased expenditure on children: education, health child care etc

4 Childrens Society Good Childhood Inquiry Involvement of the Happiness Tsar – Lord Layard Childrens Commissioner for England Public Health Observatory report on Child Health (forthcoming)

5 Background: our previous research UK chapter for Cornia and Danziger (UNICEF) ESRC Poverty the outcomes for children (2001) SC(UK) The well-being of children in the UK (2002) SC(UK) The well-being of children in the UK (2005)

6 Background: international policy International comparisons by UNICEF Innocenti Report Cards But the child is absent from EU – lack of competence Lisbon summit introduces social inclusion – child could come in But Laeken indicators of social inclusion include only two indicators Relative child poverty rates % children living in workless families

7 Background: international developments Luxembourg Presidency: Atkinson recommends child mainstreaming and development of child well- being indicators EUROSTAT and Social Protection Committee cautious and reluctant Suggestion that one extra indicator on educational attainment might be added So We develop of an index of child well-being based on existing comparative data sources (forthcoming Journal of Social Indicators) and UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 7 on child poverty and well-being in rich countries 2006

8 Outline Background Trends in child well-being in the UK Comparison of child well-being in the EU Conclusion

9 Getting better Income poverty and % children in workless families Health: IMR, accidental deaths, reported health, use of contraceptives, suicides. Childcare and out of school places Education: qualifications, NEET, Truancy, Key Stage 2 and 3, school exclusions Housing conditions

10 No change Health: Child mortality, infectious diseases, risky sexual behaviour, teenage conceptions, self reported long standing illness Playing sport Youth crime Drug use Key stage 1

11 Getting worse Still births, class dispersion in IMR, low birth weight, vaccination, STDs, asthma, diabetes, alcohol, obesity, conduct disorders Play Long term looked after Girls offending Child homelessness

12 Outline Background Trends in child well-being in the UK Comparison of child well-being in the EU Conclusion

13 Conceptualisation of child well-being Multi-dimensional approach Based on childrens rights as outlined in the UN CRC Drawing on national and multi-national experiences in indicator development

14 Data Sources I: Surveys WHO Health Behaviour of School Aged Children (HBSC) 36 countries at 2001 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 32 countries at 2000, 41 at 2003 European Social Survey (ESS) 22 countries at 2002 Citizenship and Education Survey (CIVED) 28 countries at 1999 and EUYOUPART (2005) European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD) 26 countries at 2003 European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) 28 countries at 2003

15 Data Sources II: Series WHO mortality data base , all countries except DK & CY World Bank World Development Indicators 2003, all countries OECD (2004) Education at a Glance, 2002 data Eurostat (2003) Population and Social Conditions Eurostat (2004) Labour Force Survey World Bank (2002) Health, Nutrition and Population Data

16 Structure 51 variables organised into 23 domains making 8 clusters Material situation Housing Health Subjective well-being Education Childrens relationships Civic Participation Risk and safety

17 Overall child well-being

18 Child well-being by child poverty R=-0.55

19 Material situation Relative child income poverty Child poverty rate Child poverty gaps Child deprivation Lacking car, own bedroom, holidays last year, a computer Lacking a desk, quiet for study, a computer, calculator, dictionary, text books Less than ten books in the home Parental worklessness

20 Material situation

21 Overall well-being and material well-being R=0.73

22 Child health

23 Education

24 Child well-being and educational attainment R = 0.39 (ns)

25 Housing

26 Childrens relationships

27 Subjective well-being

28 Risk and safety

29 Civic participation

30 Overall child well-being and % of young people saying they lived in a lone parent family

31 Country AVERAGE RANK HEALTH SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING CHILDRENS RELATION-SHIPSMATERIAL RISK AND SAFETYEDUCATION CIVIC PARTICIPATI ONHOUSING Cyprus Netherlands Sweden Denmark Spain Finland Germany Slovenia Belgium Ireland Greece Italy Austria Luxembourg Hungary Poland France Portugal Malta Czech Republic United Kingdom Slovak Republic Latvia Estonia Lithuania

32 Child well-being and teenage fertility rate R = 0.88***

33 WHY? Very difficult Probably depends on domain – need for more detailed work National wealth matters

34 Overall child well-being (EU) and GDP per capita R = 0.61

35 WHY? Very difficult Probably depends on domain – need for more detailed work National wealth matters Policy Effort matters

36 Child well-being EU and expenditure on social protection benefits as % GDP 2003 R = 0.45

37 WHY? Very difficult Probably depends on domain – need for more detailed work National wealth matters Policy effort matters Direction of that effort matters

38 Comparisons of expenditure: Family spending in cash, services and tax measures, in percentage of GDP, in 2001: OECD

39 Child well-being EU by expenditure per capita ppp on family benefits and services

40 Conclusion: UK results Very disappointing given government efforts Worse results coming in UNICEF Report Card Could be lag effects – data out of date But we have a seriously long way to go No politicians should be resting on their laurels - or satisfied with their legacy!


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