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The Welfare of children: Links and missing connections among science, conceptualization of rights and policy research - Part 3

Presented at the International Symposium on Children's Welfare and their Rights held by the Japanese Society of Child Science and Child Research Net
Main Hall, Okayama Head Office of Benesse Corporation
October 14, 2013




The Welfare of children: Links and missing connections among science, conceptualization of rights and policy research


While there is evidence to support domains of the Rights of the Child, some of the rights as stated are not incorporating knowledge from the science of child development.

Gap between children's rights and scientific knowledge
  • Family

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Gap between children's rights and scientific knowledge
  • Education

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How can we close the gaps?

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In the following several slides I will elaborate on the details of these ideas.

  • Social Policy Research

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  • Policy research needs to consider context

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  • Preventing ill outcomes and promoting positive outcomes

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  • Collaborate with policy makers

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  • Collaborate with practitioners

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An ongoing process

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In conclusion, we need an ongoing process in which moral rights are based on scientific evidence about child development and the conditions that promote optimal child well-being. When there is no scientific evidence to guide moral rights, scientists need to be encouraged to work on research to test hypotheses based on moral rights. At the same time cultural values and moral rights need to be continuously evaluated in terms of the degree to which their implementation is linked to or is the cause of better child outcomes.



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Sarah_Friedman.jpg Sarah L. Friedman, Ph.D.
Dr. Friedman received M.A. in Educational Psychology from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Developmental and Experimental Psychology from George Washington University. Previously she was employed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Education (NIE), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the CNA Corporation. From 1989 through March 2006 Dr. Friedman served as the NICHD scientific manager and one of the architects and primary investigators of a multi-site, collaborative longitudinal research project on the development of social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and health development of children from birth through adolescence (The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development). She is currently a Research Professor of Psychology at The George Washington University.
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