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Working with Vulnerable Primary School Aged Children and their Families: A review of the Australian literature on key principles, issues, and community level approaches

Author(s): Gabrielle Le Bon and Jennifer Boddy

Journal: Journal of Social Inclusion
ISSN 1836-8808

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: primary school aged children | key issues | community interventions | programs | approaches

Children's health and wellbeing in Australia is adversely affected by increasing disadvantage, social exclusion, and vulnerability, with numerous studies confirming the need for an improved societal response to the needs of children and their families. This review highlights the issues facing Australian primary school aged children and their families, and it examines approaches for working with those from diverse backgrounds who have varying health needs. While there are considerable gaps in the literature, findings echo some of the preventative messages from early childhood studies which suggest that neighbourhoods and communities play a crucial role in promoting children's health, wellbeing, and social inclusion through the middle years. Research further suggests that practitioners should engage in a holistic approach to children’s health and welfare and offer support across multiple domains of development, giving attention to both cultural and contextual factors. This paper will conclude with some recommendations for future research and a discussion about the implications for practice.

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