Projects focussing on child well-being and young people in the context of social change, including parenting and childcare, vulnerable children and the transition to adulthood.
Gradient (2009-2012) was a collaborative research project involving 12 institutions (universities, research institutes and public health institutes) from all over Europe. The project was coordinated by EuroHealthNet and received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013) – Health Research. The overarching goal of the GRADIENT project was to identify what measures could be taken to level-up the socio-economic gradients in health among children and young people in the EU. Major objectives included the development of a consensus based European Framework to monitor and evaluate public health policies, to assess if and why children and families from different socio-economic groups respond and act differently to public policy interventions, to make a review of protective factors for the health of children and young people and their families focusing on social capital, and to analyse different welfare regimes and general policies in different EU countries and compare the impact for families and children. The outcomes of the four research components have been synthesized and brought together into a book – The Right Start to a Healthy Life – which includes a set of policy recommendations which are widely disseminated to policy makers and professionals in a user-friendly format across the EU.
The “Well-Being of Children: The Impact of Changing Family Forms, Working Conditions of Parents, Social Policy and Legislative Measures - WELLCHI NETWORK”was funded under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission with the purpose to set up a network for improving knowledge of the impact of changing family structures and the well-being of children and their families. The objectivewas to organize international workshops and conferences and publicize the results of research on the diversity of family forms and their effects on children. These events were thought to spark a debate on the ways in which family transformation in various European policy arrangements affects the welfare of children and contribute to the analysis of socio-economic risks, inequalities, quality of life, and access to services. Expected synergies are the integration of knowledge, new lines of research, defragmentation of national research, statistical harmonization, and strengthened integration of the European Research Area. The idea of the project at its most basic is that increased public awareness of child-related problems is an integral part of the solution.
UP2YOUTHresearch project was EU-funded under the Sixth Framework Programme and was coordinated by theInstitute for Regional Innovation and Social Research (IRIS e.V.), Hechingen/Tübingen. It focussed on the agency of young people in the context of social change covering the key topics work, family and citizenship. Young men and women are facing risks and uncertainty in their transition to adulthood. They develop strategies to cope with these risks that in turn affect social structures. The scope of action that state policies provide are seen as a determining factor for whether these coping strategies contribute to social integration and relevant biographical perspectives from an individual point of view. The project itself went beyond looking at how these conditions under which young people are affected by social change in a passive way and also explored how individual coping strategies and lifestyles reinforce or modify social structures. Work was structured by three thematic working groups analysing existing research in a comparative perspective and closing research gaps at the European-level. Further exchange on the research was facilitated in thematic workshops including practitioners, policy makers and other researchers. Furthermore the UP2YOUTH Internet Portal documented the progress and project outcomes, and provides the European youth research community with an opportunity for information exchange and networking.
The DRIVERS research project seeks to address the strategic Determinants to Reduce health Inequity Via Early childhood, Realising fair employment, and Social protection. It is funded by the 7th Framework Programme (2012-2015), and focuses on three of the major drivers of health inequalities, namely early childhood development; fair employment and social protection. The main objectives of the programme are to identify and fill gaps in current knowledge; to analyse the methods which were used to assess the effects of policies on the three drivers of health inequalities discussed above (and to develop and test new methods); and to assess how findings may be applied to real-life situations, and to formulate advocacy guidance and policy recommendations with a view to reducing health inequalities.
The Research Inventory of Child Health in Europe (RICHE ) is a catalogue of EU funded child health research. The RICHE project aims to satisfy the need for a catalogue which clearly maps current child health research and the gaps which exist in that research landscape. The catalogue includes current scientific publications, grey literature, research projects and reports on child health indicators and measurements. Not only is the RICHE roadmap based on objective, scientific evidence but it also affords the opportunity for an online research community to form and engage with one another. The finalised roadmap of European funding of child health research can be found on the website .
The CHICOS project is developing an approach for all mother-child group research within Europe to be consolidated. Existing data from these mother-child research groups on outcomes and causes will be evaluated so that existing gaps in knowledge can be recognised. A long term strategy with recommendations for research can be drawn together and highlighted. Through consolidating existing research key messages from existing research can also be highlighted to national and European policy level so that policies are improved.
TACTICS is an initiative managed by the European Child safety Alliance and the collaborators involved in the project represent over 30 countries. TACTICS aims to assist with the implementation of evidence-based practices that work for the prevention of child injury. In order to do this TACTICS provides the necessary information and practical tools and resources for child injury prevention programmes to be implemented. These resources include child safety report cards for intended and unintended injury, summaries of good practice, implementation examples and a toolkit. This initiative started in April 2011 and will run through to March 2014.
The IPPOCA project (Improving Professional Practice On Child Abuse) is funded by DG Justice – European Commission and falls under the Daphne III programme. It is led by the Meyer Children Hospital in Florence (IT), with the following partners:
The project began in June 2013 and is due to run until January 2015. Its aim consists in improving knowledge and practices implemented by pediatric hospital partners’ health staff in case of a suspected child victim of abuse or maltreatment. Objectives are attained by the production of a manual based on the replies of a questionnaire set up in order to get a comprehensive picture of procedures already implemented by the three partner hospitals. Subsequently the evaluation of results is done in order to select a range of best practices already in use. This information is listed in an annex attached to the manual. The content of the manual is focused on issues regarding the abuse suspect: if a specific protocol to apply exists, who detects the suspect, who has to report it, how it is treated, if and how other professionals are involved. To reach a constructive comparison it was first necessary to understand the social and economic context as well as the law framework each partner is working in, after that it was possible to explore the diverse methodologies applied by the partner hospital health staff to recognize if a child could be a victim of an abuse or maltreatment.
In relation to this manual a teaching program was organized in each of the partner institution for its own personnel but not limited to. The main goal is improving the health care professionals’ skills to recognize and identify an abused child but also facilitating the exchange of information on specific procedure to follow, which can be reproduced also in other countries and becoming a common shared method. The health staff working on child abuse and maltreatment often employs a multidisciplinary approach, even if in different ways, so it is strictly interacting with other professionals such as social workers, police, teachers, judges and lawyers.