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Security-in-childhood | criteria | basket | cost


In order to be able to act autonomously as an adult, individuals must have experienced
security in childhood. However, a secure childhood is not only important for the children’s
development into adults; it is also essential during childhood itself. So what exactly does
security in childhood entail? Doyal & Gough (1991) outline specify four more or less
universal psycho-social needs that must be fulfilled in order for children and youngsters
anywhere in the world to experience adequate security in childhood. According to them, all
children need love. They also require new experiences in order to be able to develop
cognitively, emotionally and socially. All children need praise, recognition and positive
feedback, within a clearly agreed upon framework. Finally, all children need a gradual
broadening of responsibilities (WHO, 1982, Kellmer-Pringle, 1980).

It could be argued that the first three needs are not specific to children: they also hold for
adults. Still, we chose to work out a separate basket for children, for two reasons. First, the
fulfilment of these needs implies totally different products and services for respectively
children, youngsters and adults. If we want children to be able to participate fully in society,
we need to explore how this can be achieved in practice.

A second argument is drawn from the focus groups of low-income households. As many poor
adults also experienced deprivation in their own childhood, they tend to attach great
importance to the family, as if they want to create the kind of family they missed in their
youth. They dream of a happy and stable family and are focused strongly on offering their
children a good future. They do not want to deprive them of anything (Driessens & Van
Regenmortel, 2007).




K.H.Kempen Vlaamse overheid CSB ULG