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FP6

WELLCHI NETWORK — Result In Brief

Project ID: 505978
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Spain

Promoting children’s well-being

An EU-funded consortium established a network of researchers and a public dissemination website with the goal of ameliorating social risks imposed on children by a changing family structure.
Promoting children’s well-being
Advances in the autonomy of women and extension of legal rights of women and children have led in part to family diversification and the emergence of new household norms, with a shift away from the traditional patriarchal household.

The most dramatic change in children’s lives in post-industrial European societies has been the substantial growth in the number of children spending at least some portion of childhood in a single-parent family. Thus, factors affecting the well-being of children have come to include new social risks in addition to persisting class inequalities.

European researchers supported by funding of ‘The Well-being of children: the impact of changing family forms, working conditions of parents, social policy and legislative measures’ (Wellchi Network) project established a European network of researchers to determine the ways in which public policy and legal reform can improve the living conditions of children and their parents, given family diversification. The project used assessment of the degree to which changing family norms can be associated with adverse outcomes for children.

A major goal of the Wellchi Network was to focus, coordinate and publicise research results as well as to raise public awareness of problems related to childhood in order to include both the research community and civil society in the development of solutions.

To this end, the Wellchi Network created the Children’s Well-being International Documentation Centre (http://www.ciimu.org/webs/wellchi) and set up local commissions of stakeholders to reach out to actors beyond the research community.

The Wellchi Network made significant progress in understanding the impact of changing family norms on children and their well-being. Combining feedback from researchers and the public, the project has the potential to positively influence legislation and public policy to ameliorate the social risks faced by European children in a post-industrial society.

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