Enhancing the resilience of children and young people in a risky world

Ball, David J. and Watt, John and De Rijke, Victoria (2017) Enhancing the resilience of children and young people in a risky world. In: SRA-E 26th Annual Conference: New challenges, new threats: resilience and adaptation in a risky world, 19-21 June 2017, Lisbon, Portugal.

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Abstract

Children and young persons face a risky world from birth. How best to enhance their personal resilience and survival skills?
Although rarely discussed in mainstream risk literature, this has been a topic of considerable controversy with apparently large variability in attitudes to children's risk exposure across Europe and beyond. The importance of raising capable and resilient children is of course self evident (Sandseter and Kennair, 2011).
In the UK this conflict led in 1993 to the creation of a multi-actor body known as the Play Safety Forum (PSF, 1993), which has sought to promote a balanced approach to children's play. The PSF comprises a consortium of the four UK national play agencies, safety and child welfare organisations, and other agencies with interests in children and play including industry and standards-setting bodies. Major achievements include the publication of 'Managing risk in play provision' (PSF, 2008a), 'Design for play' (PSF, 2008b) and the introduction of risk-benefit assessment (PSF, 2015), the latter as a means of safeguarding what some regard as the essential and unavoidably risky elements of play.
This paper will describe the history of these developments before discussing current challenges. In particular, the PSF has recently been concerned by proposals to rewrite or modify international Standards on play safety as promulgated by the ASTM in the USA and CEN in Europe in relation to surfacing requirements for fixed equipment, unsupervised, outdoor locations. Although this can involve highly technical considerations, playground standards on issues such as surfacing requirements do have major public policy implications for play provision both directly, through their significant cost implications and their sometimes detrimental effects on children and teenagers' play experiences, and indirectly, via their inherent philosophical leanings (Ball, 2004).
Policy decisions should, of course, incorporate technical considerations, but also need to be sensitive to the wider aims and needs, in this case of developing children. This undoubtedly requires a multi-stakeholder approach drawing on expertise from widely different domains ranging over engineering, trauma, child development and health, with inputs from the social and natural sciences.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 22848
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Victoria De Rijke
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 16:32
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2018 14:57
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/22848

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