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‘Social policy’ refers to political planning and implementation that affects the ‘welfare’ of populations, including health, education, housing, and income maintenance. Promoting child welfare is a foundational purpose of social policy: Services for children and families were central to the development of ‘welfare states’ in the Western world and represent an important aspect of what, reflecting the increased emphasis on social service provision within international development policy and programming, has come to be referred to as ‘global’ social policy. This entry explores reasons the welfare of children came to be regarded as a political concern, looks at some of the historical developments related to children and social policy, and examines key themes in social policy for children.

Welfare of Children as a Political Concern

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