Children are agents of social change, seminar participant says

24 May 2012 | Story by Newsroom

Child Institute SeminarPoignant words: There was plenty to think about and discuss at the meeting.

The UCT Children's Institute hosted delegates from around the world for a meeting of the International Network of Child Policy Research Centres in May.

Researchers, policymakers and practitioners came together to think about the ways in which research can shape better social policy and programmes for children and young people.

The seminar, titled Shaping Research, Policy, and Practice for Children and Youth: Sharing and reflecting on lessons for the future from a decade of experience, was co-sponsored by the Centre for Children and Youth at the Meyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem, and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, US.

South Africa has made great strides in improving laws and policies for children since the inception of the Children's Institute 10 years ago, said institute director Professor Shirley Pendlebury. But gaps remain, she added.

"Access to schooling has improved, but quality remains a problem."

She added that there is a need for more social workers and better provision for children under the age of five.

The seminar enabled researchers and policymakers to share ideas and experiences on effective responses to the needs and circumstances of children and youth.

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