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Children's Policy Centre | Seminar

International symposium on children and communities in Australia

What makes a community a strong, supportive place for children?

Children are often assumed to benefit from strong communities. Yet we know very little about children’s views on what makes a strong, supportive community or about children’s place and roles within Australian communities. Over the past four years, the Children, Communities and Social Capital research project has explored in depth what children in middle childhood (aged 8-12) think about their communities, how they experience ‘community’ on a daily basis and what vision they have for their communities. Children spoke about the importance of relationships, what makes a community safe, the problem of adult overuse of alcohol, inclusive and exclusive places, and the difference that resources make. The findings provide important insights into communities from a child’s standpoint, and how they might be improved.

This symposium aims to contribute to providing a child-centred answer to the question of what makes a community a strong and supportive place for children. It will present the findings of the Children, Communities and Social Capital research and extend the conversation to similar research undertaken in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany. The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, will launch the research report during the symposium.

» view flyer (PDF,188KB)

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Children's Policy Centre | Seminar

Reframing the youth bulge: From problem to solution

The ACFID Child Rights Working Group welcomes submissions for papers for their peak event, REFRAMING THE YOUTH BULGE: FROM PROBLEM TO SOLUTION, to be held on February 14th 2013, at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australia National University, Canberra.

Hosted by the Children’s Policy Centre, The Crawford School at The Australian National University and organised by the multi-agency Child Rights Working Group, this conference aims to bring together a range of different professionals within Australia to explore development issues related to youth, in a collaborative environment that emphasises the ‘cross-fertilisation’ of ideas and solutions.

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the conference is 1 Feburay 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by 6th Feburay 2013.

» view flyer (PDF,261KB)

For further information or to submit an abstract please contact Amalia at Plan International or Jackie at ChildFund



Children's Policy Centre | Other

What future do we want for young children? The role of early childhood care and development in the post-MDG agenda

Over one third of the world’s children under five years of age fail to achieve their full developmental potential due to malnutrition, poverty, disease, neglect, and lack of learning opportunities. This situation sets children back irreversibly. As adults, they possess reduced skills and lower lifetime earnings. Ultimately, the cost of lack of investment in the early childhood years is borne by society as a whole.

» view flyer (PDF,244KB)
» view program (PDF,1000KB)





Defence for Children International Australia & the Children's Policy Centre | Seminar

Advancing and Securing the Human Rights of Children in Australia: How far have we come?



Children's Policy Centre | Seminar

Reconceptualising child protection

Child protection is one of the most contested areas of public and social policy. Research and evaluation of state policies around the world, particularly in the Global North, highlight the challenges that policymakers face in dealing with child protection. There is a struggle between too little state intervention resulting from a very narrow definition of child abuse and too much intervention based on ‘all inclusive’ child protection goals. The challenge is to formulate and implement child protection policies which address potential and actual risks to safety and well-being of children in situations ranging from physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and homelessness, to economic exploitation and abuse due to broader socioeconomic and structural factors. The challenges are even greater for countries in the Global South.

Using examples from recent field work, Tahira Jabeen argues that it is necessary to reconceptualise child protection in ways that take account of children’s familial and societal contexts, as well as national and international standards around child protection. Such a reconceptualisation is critical if child protection policy is to take account of children’s needs and right to protection and their specific environment.

Tahira Jabeen is a PhD student at the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, researching child protection policy in Pakistan. Prior to these studies, Ms Jabeen was a lecturer in Social Policy and Administration at the University of Punjab in Lahore. She has worked for various Pakistani government departments and conducted research and provided training for a number of international agencies including UNICEF, the UN Development Programme, the German Technical Cooperation Agency and Church World Service. Her research has looked at children in especially difficult circumstances such as lost, kidnapped, runaway, homeless and street children in Pakistan and also at children, communities and social inclusion in Australia with Dr Sharon Bessell.

This seminar is presented by the Children's Policy Centre, at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.



Crawford School of Public Policy | Seminar

Promoting children's well-being and happiness: What role for social policy?

Professor Sabine Andresen Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; Professor Jonathan Bradshaw University of York, UK; Chaired by Sue Regan, HC Coombs Policy Forum, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

This seminar will explore ideas on what constitutes a ‘good life’ for children. Professor Sabine Andresen will present research on child well-being in different educational settings in Germany including schools, kindergartens and clubs. Professor Jonathan Bradshaw will draw on comparative research on child well-being including work done in collaboration with The Children’s Society in the UK. He will examine the impacts of social policy on the subjective aspects of child well-being to answer the question – Can we engineer happiness in childhood?

Presentation by speakers:



Crawford School of Public Policy | Other

Visions and directions for early childhood education and care in Australia

Mr Michael White, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Australia; Ms Naomi Eisenstadt, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; and others

In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) released the National Early Childhood Development Strategy. The Strategy signals a national commitment to early childhood education and development. It acknowledges that the current system ‘is struggling to cope with overall demand and many children and families are not getting the help they need’. The National Strategy provides a foundation for the development of a strong, cohesive and responsive approach to early childhood education and development in Australia. Yet key challenges remain, including the nature of current governance arrangements and policy frameworks.

Presentation by speakers:

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