childhood reasons


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  • Created on: 11-05-11 21:24
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A Child Centred Society
Why has it developed?
There is now a minimum age for a wide range of activities from sex to smoking to paid work reinforcing the idea that children are different
from adults and so different rules must be applied to their behaviour.
The introduction of compulsory schooling in 1880 and the recent raising of school leaving age, especially for the current year 7's who
must now stay in education/ work related training to the age of 18, has extended dependency.
Children are no longer `economic assets who could earn a wage, but rather an economic liability, financially dependent on their parents .
The Child Support Act (1991) defines parents as having `responsibilities' rather than rights in relation to children.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the child (1989) lays down children's basic rights such as education, protection from abuse at home
and in the classroom and their right to participate in decisions that affects them such as custody cases and welfare during divorce.
Declining family size, availability of contraception and lower infant death rates have encouraged parents to make a greater financial and
emotional investment in the fewer child they now have e.g. it is estimated that £186,000 on average is spent on a child by their 21st
birthday. This will increase with rising educational fees and growing recession.
Children's health and development has become the subject of medical knowledge with the focus on the need to protect children e.g.
childhood obesity adverts, Jamie's school dinners.
Increased demands on parents to look after their children properly e.g. social workers can intervene on behalf of children who are at risk
in the face of rising evils such as child abuse/ abduction cases (Baby P, Victoria Climbe, Madeleine McCann, Sarah Payne).
Large businesses have encouraged a specific childhood consumer market encouraging children to use `pester power'.
There is now a government minister for children e.g. the government was proposing to establish a Children's Commiss ioner in 2005 to
promote the rights of children e.g. Local authorities were given the duty to investigate cases of neglect/ cruelty with regard to children.
Growing evils in society has led to a rise in child protection and welfare legislation, whereby children are no longer `seen and not heard'.

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A Child Centred Society
Why has it developed?
Their welfare is a core principle underpinning agencies e.g. social services, NSPCC, Child line etc
Children's Act of 2004 and `Every Child Matters Policy' (updated 2007) focuses on well-being of young people from birth to 19. It states
that all young people have the rights to
1. Stay healthy and safe
2. Secure an excellent education and achievement.
3. Enjoy their childhood
4. Make a positive contribution to society and economy.
5.…read more


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