Laying the foundations for good health in childhood

Norma Baldwin

in Social work and global health inequalities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421951
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303541 | DOI:
Laying the foundations for good health in childhood

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Many children live in enviable conditions where income, environment, housing, health, and education allow them to achieve their potential and enjoy a good quality of life and well-being into old age. Other children experience harsh and brutal conditions, where life is an endless – often losing – struggle for survival. This variable picture needs to be understood in all its complexity if policies and services are to be effective in laying the foundations for health in childhood. The contribution of social work to health and well-being in childhood depends on a multidisciplinary analysis, within a strategic, inter-agency context. This chapter examines major differences in life chances for children and argues for holistic approaches, seeing children's needs and rights in the context of their families, social and cultural groups, and wider environment. It also discusses the impact of wide-ranging policies on health inequalities, maternal and infant health and well-being, health care, social exclusion, discrimination, racism, and emotional health and resilience.

Keywords: health; childhood; children; health inequalities; maternal health; infant health; health care; social exclusion; emotional health; social work

Chapter.  5042 words.  Illustrated.

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