Prioritizing vulnerable children: strategies to address inequity

Karen Zwi*, P. Joshua, P. Moran, L. White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: While current strategies to address the needs of vulnerable child populations in Australia aim to reduce inequities, they are isolated, group specific and disparate. Aim: The aim of this study was to address health inequities by generating tools that are useful in clinical service settings to assist with the identification, prioritization and monitoring of all vulnerable populations. Methodology: Current local and national initiatives to address inequities were reviewed. Shared strategies in delivering health services to vulnerable populations were highlighted, and existing tools used for identification and prioritization were adapted. Findings: Analysis of at-risk populations resulted in the formulation of four key questions to identify vulnerable children at presentation to services and strategies for prioritizing children within services. An existing refugee child health service delivery framework was adapted as a proposal for use in the development and evaluation of services for all vulnerable child populations. Conclusion: A systemic approach across all vulnerable populations, supplemented by group-specific measures, is likely to add value to health service delivery as well as be more efficient and sustainable than multiple group-specific interventions. Given the limited outcome evidence available, there is also a need to collect data on vulnerable children and to track the effectiveness of interventions designed to address their health needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-835
Number of pages9
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Child public health
  • Vulnerability to illness


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