New understandings in childhood research and their implications for child and family services

18 May 2022
Trevor Spratt Professor
John Frederick
John Devaney
Journal of Social Work

In recent times the production of research linking childhood experiences with later life outcomes has had the effect of producing new understandings of child development, with increased attribution given to this stage in the life cycle as being foundational for future outcomes. In turn, this has generated the development of models which combine physiological, psychological and social impacts of adversity to challenge services to deliver interventions which are trauma aware and consequently designed to either prevent the occurrence, or ameliorate the effects, of childhood adversities. In this article we examine the implications of these developments for services delivered at community, familial and individual levels. While there have been attempts to incorporate advances in research with respect to what is harmful to children, the space for action remains limited both by structural constraints and the lag in the development of an evidential base supportive of interventions designed to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

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