Constructing indicators of child well-being from a child standpoint

Tobia Fattore, Jan Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of well-being has gained increasing currency as policy makers and service providers working in the child welfare sector have aimed to shift their work from compliance based to child-centred approaches. This is also evident in the efforts of national and international monitoring agencies, who have developed indicator frameworks measuring children's well-being outcomes. However, well-being frameworks developed from children's perspectives are rare, in part because of the challenges involved in developing indicators from children's perspectives. In this paper we present a set of wellbeing indicator concepts developed from multi-stage qualitative research exploring children's understandings and experiences of well-being. We outline key domains (agency, security/safety, self/identity) and dimensions (leisure, economic well-being, health) of wellbeing derived from a child standpoint before outlining the distinctive features of these indicator concepts. We conclude by discussing implications for service provision, namely the importance of emotional complexity in service work; an emphasis on lived experience and developmental outcomes in service goals; and the necessity to consider systemic factors as impacting individual well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-49
Number of pages16
JournalDeveloping Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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