Child Health And Wellbeing Essay Outline

The early years are critical to the development and future health and outcomes for all children. Scotland’s key policy documents outline the importance of an early years focus and early intervention. Giving children a strong foundation in the early years enhances the key components of growth and development: communication, physical skills and coordination, learning skills, emotional attachment and resilience, and thus enables them to perform better at school, develop good social skills and grow into healthy adults.

Growth and development and inequalities from 0-3 years

The early years lay the foundations for positive physical, emotional, social and educational wellbeing throughout life.

Health and social inequalities experienced by families can affect the growth and development of children and lead to further inequalities.

There is good evidence on interventions that improve outcomes in a number of important areas.

Quick links:

What are health inequalities?

The WHO defines health inequalities as "differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups."

For a fuller discussion, please see Inequalities in the early years.

Policy context

Activity in this area is consistent with commitments and priorities detailed in the Early Years Framework and the National Parenting Strategy, Equally Well, Achieving our Potential, a range of NHS Scotland's Quality Indicators and is relevant to Scotland's national practice model for child-centred services - Getting it Right for Every Child (all external links).

What affects growth and development in 0-3s?

In order to grow and develop and reach their potential, children require all of their needs to be met. These needs include physical needs for nutrition, sleep, warmth, personal care and a safe, healthy environment.

Just as important are their emotional and psychological needs for comfort and attention, positive and consistent interactions with parents, stimulating play and, later, guidance and support as they begin to explore their world.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child asserts that:

"the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding."

How do inequalities impact on growth and development?

Factors related to family experience of inequality can impact on parents' ability to meet the needs of their children and in turn are associated with an increased risk of children experiencing difficulties in social, emotional and cognitive development.

They include:

  • Socioeconomic status - socioeconomic disadvantage.
  • Income - unemployment/workless household.
  • Housing - living in social housing, a deprived area or experiencing housing difficulties.
  • Parental relationship - lone parent, unemployed lone parent, co-habiting, living with a stepfather and disagreement between parents over parenting.
  • Parenting high level of parental conflict.
  • Ethnicity - Indian, Pakistani/Bangladeshi or Black-African origin.
  • Maternal factors - depression, stress, psychopathology, alcohol consumption during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy, living away from home prior to 17 years old.

(p32 Evidence Summary: Interventions to support parents, their infants and children in the early years (pregnancy to 5 years) (external link)).

The above factors are derived from population-level studies and are not validated for use at individual level. However, it is appropriate that those working with children take them into account when considering whether children may be at risk of delayed growth and development.

back to top

Health-related factors affecting growth and development in 0-3s

For detailed discussions on key factors, advice for parents and those working with children, and evidence-based interventions that can help, please see the following:

Deprivation, parenting and social and emotional wellbeing

While most families living in deprivation do manage to provide caring, nurturing and stable environments for their children, there are strong links between deprivation and parental substance misuse, mental illness, neglect and domestic violence.

Growing up in such circumstances can lead to emotional and behavioural problems that can affect children's development and opportunities (NICE public health guidance 40 - Social and emotional wellbeing: early years p.18 (external link)).

For a fuller discussion of the issues, advice for parents and those working with children, and information on evidence-based interventions that can help, please see Parenting and Health Inequalities from 0-3 years.

Speech, language and communication development

The communication abilities of babies begin to develop before birth and progress rapidly in the first few months of life.

Although low socioeconomic status is associated with lower scores in assessments of cognitive development, these effects can be moderated by being read to daily at 10 months and engaging in a range of activities and events by 22 months (Growing Up in Scotland (GUS): The Impact of Children’s Early Activities on Cognitive Development (external link)).

For a fuller discussion of the impact of inequalities and key messages for parents and those working with children, please see Speech, language and communication development.

Looked-after children

The fact that looked after children may have come from abusive or neglectful situations and the experience of growing up in the care system - particularly the effect of multiple placements - mean that looked after children generally suffer poorer outcomes in terms of education and health.

This is recognised in The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Acts 2004 & 2009, whereby looked after children are automatically considered as having additional support needs (unless assessment proves otherwise).

There is good evidence to suggest that placement with professional foster carers and lower age at first placement improve outcomes.

For a full survey of research into effective interventions, please see Health Scotland's Evidence summary: Looked after children (external link).

Identifying those at risk

Because those at risk can be difficult to identify, it's important to link with other professionals who may know more about the family and their circumstances, e.g. Speech and Language Therapists, carers, GPs, social workers, health visitors, nursery school and other childcare staff, and voluntary sector agencies.

A range of risk factors should be considered - see the list above in How do inequalities impact on growth and development in 0-3s?

For a fuller discussion of inequalities, see Inequalities in the early years.

A Pathway of Care for Vulnerable Families (0-3) (external link) sets out key contact points and interactions for those working with vulnerable families.

back to top

Providing information and support to parents

The 2012 Health Scotland paper Exploration of the information support needs of parents (external link), was the result of in-depth work with 132 parents from across Scotland.

It found that parents preferred 'personal, empathetic support from individuals in dealing with their specific needs for information and support on child health and parenting'.

Three overarching themes emerged:

  1. Parent information/support is undermined when parents feel marginalised
  2. ‘Trust’ shapes how information is sought, received and used
  3. Parents respond most positively to personalised information and support.

Among its recommendations, the report emphasises the need for:

  • continuing professional development for staff to enable them to present more personalised information and support
  • alternative formats, products and services that more fully take account of the needs, views and preferences of young mothers, fathers and parents with literacy issues
  • increased opportunities for face-to-face peer support and virtual social networks.

 

back to top

 

Articles in this topic

  • Active learning

    Taking advantage of spontaneous play, investigation and exploring as well as focused teaching, active learning is a core part of Curriculum for Excellence in the early years.

    • When was this last updated? 6/8/2015
  • Bedwetting

    Covering the potential cause, underlying issues and recommended treatments for bedwetting.

    • When was this last updated? 8/13/2010
  • Bedwetting: the causes

    Outlining the potential causes of bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), both physical and emotional.

    • When was this last updated? 8/19/2010
  • Bedwetting: treating it

    Available treatments, if needed, for bedwetting (noctural enuresis) in children.

    • When was this last updated? 8/19/2010
  • Briefing for Professionals explaining Attachment

    NHS Health Scotland has produced a briefing paper which provides an introduction to attachment theory and effective strategies to promote secure attachment.

    • When was this last updated? 7/17/2012
  • Communication

    Interacting with and providing stimulus for young children.

    • When was this last updated? 9/30/2010
  • Developmental milestones

    Encouraging parents to use The Personal Child Health Record (Red Book) to record their child's development.

    • When was this last updated? 8/13/2010
  • Early Years: The Evidence

    Series of video chapters looking at the evidence behind Early Years Policies. Links to YouTube.

    • When was this last updated? 4/7/2015
  • Financial inclusion referral pathway toolkit

    A toolkit providing support for developing or improving partnerships between early years services & financial inclusion organisations. It explains the core principles that should underpin these partnerships & uses case studies to illustrate referral pathways and examples of best practice.

    • When was this last updated? 9/8/2016
  • Growth and development

    The early years are critical to the development and future health and outcomes for all children.

    • When was this last updated? 8/13/2010
  • Growth and development charts

    Information about the World Health Organization's growth and development charts and links to education and training materials.

    • When was this last updated? 11/25/2011
  • Play

    Outlines the importance of play in a child's development.

    • When was this last updated? 4/17/2012
  • Play and health

    play@home programme policy context

    • When was this last updated? 1/13/2014
  • Play, Talk, Read

    A national campaign designed to support parents and help children to develop.

    • When was this last updated? 6/11/2013
  • Scottish Book Trust

    Bookbug is a national programme to encourage reading by providing free packs of books for babies

    • When was this last updated? 9/21/2010
  • Sleep

    Sleep Scotland offers a help package to children and families experiencing sleep deprivation.

    • When was this last updated? 5/7/2013
  • Starcatchers - Arts from the Start 2016

    Pioneering children’s organisation Starcatchers aims to build a community of creative and inspired Early Years practitioners with a new campaign Arts from the Start 2016.

    • When was this last updated? 1/12/2016
  • Supporting attachment in Neonatal Units

    NHS Health Scotland in partnership with the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) have developed the professional breifing paper Supporting attachment in neonatal units.

    • When was this last updated? 11/4/2013
  • the 27 - 30 month review

    Information on the implementation of the 27- 30 month check

    • When was this last updated? 12/5/2013
  • The Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study

    This research is currently underway, studying the lives of 8,000 Scottish children from birth to adolescence.

    • When was this last updated? 5/22/2013
  • The Personal Child Health Record (Red Book)

    A tool based on the World Health Organization Growth Charts. The Red Book allows parents, guardians and health workers to oversee the development of a child from a very young age.

    • When was this last updated? 5/7/2013
  • The Play@Home programme national roll out

    Play@Home provides parents and carers with ideas for activities and games to share with young children. The programme can help to promote physical and mental wellbeing, and can help to strengthen the bonds between children and carers.

    • When was this last updated? 5/7/2013
  • Tongue Tie

    Tongue Tie

    • When was this last updated? 3/18/2014
  • UK Commissioners' Report

    UN has released its Concluding Observations around how the UK could better realise children's rights.

    • When was this last updated? 6/20/2016

Policy

Evidence

  • The connected baby

    This DVD, developed by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, observes and analyses the interaction between baby and parent, sibling or grandmother in a familiar domestic situation, in order to highlight the extraordinary abilities of the young baby to communicate and enter into conversation with a partner.

    • When was this published? 7/17/2012
  • Back to top

Professional support materials

  • Alcohol and pregnancy

    The Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trust works to raise awareness of the effects of alcohol on developing children.

    • When was this published? 8/18/2010
  • Child Growth Foundation

    This site contains information of benefit to parents with a child who has a diagnosed or suspected growth problem, to people who have a growth problem and their families, and to people and medical professionals with an interest.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Fetal Alcohol Harm eLearning Resource

    This new elearning resource from NHS Education Scotland provides comprehensive and up to date information for professionals on the prevention, identification and management of fetal alcohol harm in a lively and interactive format.

    • When was this published? 8/7/2013
  • First words

    Brief guidance to use with parents to support speech and language development

  • Mindstretchers

    Based in Perthshire, Mindstretchers is an outdoor kindergarten.

    • When was this published? 9/26/2010
  • Play Scotland

    Play Scotland works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

    • When was this published? 9/17/2010
  • Play, Talk, Read website

    Information, tips and resources for introducing Play, Talk and Read to babies and young children.

    • When was this published? 5/6/2013
  • Scottish Book Trust

    Bookbug reading starter packs available from the Scottish Book Trust for all children in Scotland.

    • When was this published? 9/26/2010
  • Talk to your baby website

    Encouraging parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three

    • When was this published? 3/17/2011
  • The social baby

    This DVD is available through NSPCC publications. It looks at the ways in which babies communicate, and will help parents to understand the social aspect of a baby's life. It also offers ideas to help parents manage crying, and shows how to establish routines around feeding and sleeping.

    • When was this published? 3/15/2011
  • Youth Sport Trust – start to play

    Youth Sport Trust is an independent charity which aims to build a brighter future for young people through PE and sport. The start to play programme provides a number of fun resources to encourage play and physical activity opportunities for young children, their parents, guardians and carers.

    • When was this published? 5/7/2013
  • Back to top

Information for the public

  • AFASIC unlocking speech and language

    The Association For All Speech Impared Children (AFASIC) is a charity that works with young people who have difficulties with speech, language and communication.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Alcohol and pregnancy

    The Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Trust works to raise awareness of the effects of alcohol on developing children.

    • When was this published? 8/18/2010
  • Asthma UK Scotland

    Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Before words [266KB]

    A cartoon-based resource with the key messages for parents to support speech and language development before words. 0-12 months. Developed by Gretel McEwan, Lynn Jones & Foundrymedia

    • When was this published? 11/23/2010
  • BLISS

    This charity provides special care for premature and sick babies.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Capability Scotland

    Capability works with disabled people of all ages and their families and carers throughout Scotland. It also campaigns for the rights of disabled people (external site).

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Child Growth Foundation

    This site contains information of benefit to parents with a child who has a diagnosed or suspected growth problem, to people who have a growth problem and their families, and to people and medical professionals with an interest.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Contact a Family

    This UK-wide charity provides advice, information and support to the parents of disabled children.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Craighalbert Centre

    The Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Imparements is a special school that caters for children with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions. Based in Cumbernauld, it provides day care and outreach services to children across Scotland.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust

    The CF trust offers information, advice and financial support to people with Cystic Fibrosis and their families.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • ENABLE

    ENABLE Scotland is a charity that campaigns for the rights of people with learning disabilities, as well as offering help and support to them and their families.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Family Fund

    This charity helps families with severely disabled children on low incomes. It offers grants for a wide range of things, including household appliances, computers and holidays.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Genetic Alliance UK

    Genetic Alliance UK seeks to improve the lives of people affected by genetic conditions by ensuring that high quality services and information are available to all who need them.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • MPS Society (Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases)

    The MPS Society (Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases) is a voluntary support group which represents children and adults suffering from Mucopolysaccharide and related Lysosomal Storage Diseases including Fabry Disease, their families, carers and professionals.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • National Autistic Society Scotland

    This is the largest UK charity dedicated to sufferers of autism and aspergers syndrome, and their families.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Play, Talk, Read website

    Information, tips and resources for introducing Play, Talk and Read to babies and young children.

    • When was this published? 5/6/2013
  • Ready Steady Baby!

    A website for the public providing information and advice through pregnancy and the baby's first days.

    • When was this published? 8/18/2010
  • Ready Steady Toddler!

    A website for the public with information, tips and advice for bringing up toddlers.

    • When was this published? 9/30/2010
  • Scottish Autism

    The Society has been supporting families in Scotland affected by autism for over 40 years.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • Scottish Book Trust

    Bookbug reading starter packs available from the Scottish Book Trust for all children in Scotland.

    • When was this published? 9/26/2010
  • Sleep Scotland

    Sleep Scotland supports families of children and young children with severe sleep problems.

    • When was this published? 5/7/2013
  • The Butterfly Trust

    The Butterfly Trust supports people with Cystic Fibrosis in Scotland.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010
  • You and your baby

    A book for new parents with learning disabilities. This book is available free of charge to Early Years professionals in Scotland as an alternative to Ready Steady Baby! To order contact nhs.HealthScotland-EarlyYears@nhs.net.

    • When was this published? 2/15/2011
  • You and your little child

    Book for parents with learning disabilities with children aged 1 - 5 years. This book is available free of charge to Early Years professionals in Scotland from NHS Health Scotland as an alternative to Ready Steady Toddler! To order contact nhs.HealthScotland-EarlyYears@nhs.net.

    • When was this published? 2/15/2011
  • Back to top

Goal

Increase the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs designed to prevent disease and injury, improve health, and enhance quality of life.

Overview

Educational and community-based programs play a key role in:

  • Preventing disease and injury
  • Improving health
  • Enhancing quality of life

Health status and related health behaviors are determined by influences at multiple levels: personal, organizational/institutional, environmental, and policy. Because significant and dynamic interrelationships exist among these different levels of health determinants, educational and community-based programs are most likely to succeed in improving health and wellness when they address influences at all levels and in a variety of environments/settings.

Why Are Educational and Community-Based Programs Important?

Educational and community-based programs and strategies played an important role in reaching Healthy People 2010 objectives. Over the next several years, they will continue to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes in the United States.

Educational and community-based programs and strategies are designed to reach people outside of traditional health care settings. These settings may include:

  • Schools
  • Worksites
  • Health care facilities
  • Communities

Each setting provides opportunities to reach people using existing social structures. This maximizes impact and reduces the time and resources necessary for program development. People often have high levels of contact with these settings, both directly and indirectly. Programs that combine multiple—if not all 4—settings can have a greater impact than programs using only 1 setting. While populations reached will sometimes overlap, people who are not accessible in 1 setting may be in another.1

Using nontraditional settings can help encourage informal information sharing within communities through peer social interaction. Reaching out to people in different settings also allows for greater tailoring of health information and education.

Educational and community-based programs encourage and enhance health and wellness by educating communities on topics such as:

  • Chronic diseases

  • Injury and violence prevention

  • Mental illness/behavioral health

  • Unintended pregnancy

  • Oral health

  • Tobacco use

  • Substance abuse

  • Nutrition 

  • Physical activity

  • Obesity prevention

Back to Top

Understanding Educational and Community-Based Programs

Health and quality of life rely on many community systems and factors, not simply on a well-functioning health and medical care system. Making changes within existing systems, such as improving school health programs and policies, can effectively improve the health of many in the community.

For a community to improve its health, its members must often change aspects of the physical, social, organizational, and even political environments in order to eliminate or reduce factors that contribute to health problems or to introduce new elements that promote better health. Changes might include:

  • Instituting new programs, policies, and practices
  • Changing aspects of the physical or organizational infrastructure
  • Changing community attitudes, beliefs, or social norms2

In cases where community health promotion activities are initiated by a health department or organization, organizers have a responsibility to engage the community. Realizing the vision of healthy people in healthy communities is possible only if the community, in its full cultural, social, and economic diversity, is an authentic partner in changing the conditions for health.2

Emerging Issues in Educational and Community-Based Programs

Three emerging public health issues in the area of educational and community-based programs have been identified.

  1. Adopting a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach to reduce dropout rates.

    • The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model expands on the 8 elements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Coordinated School Health (CSH) approach and is combined with the whole child framework. CDC and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) developed this expanded model—in collaboration with key leaders from the fields of health, public health, education, and school health—to strengthen a unified and collaborative approach designed to improve learning and health in our Nation’s schools.

  2. Establishing an evidence base for community health and education policy interventions to determine their impact and effectiveness.

  3. Increasing the number and skill level of community health and other auxiliary public health workers to support the achievement of healthier communities.

These issues are important to the field of public health and warrant further research, analysis, and monitoring to fully understand their effects on educational and community-based programs.

References

1Gamm L, Castillo G, Williams L. Education and community-based programs in rural areas: A literature review. In: Rural Healthy People 2010: A companion document to Healthy People 2010, Volume 3. Gamm L, Hutchison L, editors. College Station, TX: The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, Southwest Rural Health Research Center; 2004. p.167-86. Available from: http://www.srph.tamhsc.edu/centers/rhp2010/Volume_3/Vol3Ch4LR.pdf [PDF - 81 KB]

2Institute of Medicine. The future of the public’s health in the 21st century. Washington: National Academies Press; 2003.

Back to Top

0 Replies to “Child Health And Wellbeing Essay Outline”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *