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  • 1. An Ecological Perspective on Child Development
  • 2. Ecological approach
    • What does it mean?
    • Why is it important?
    • How does it apply to practice?
  • 3. It is a holistic perspective which focuses on the ways in which children’s developmental needs, the capacity of their parents to respond appropriately to those needs and wider environmental factors interact with one another over time. NSPCC and University of Sheffield (2000) The Child’s World: Assessing children in need p.41
  • 4. Macrosystem, e.g. government policy on employment and working conditions Exosystem, e.g. Parent’s condition of employment Mesosystem of links between e.g. school microsystem e.g. home microsystem  
  • 5. ‘ Whether parents can perform effectively in child-rearing roles within the family depends on the role demands, stresses and supports emanating from other settings…
  • 6. ...Parent’s evaluations of their own capacity to function, as well as their view of the child, are related to such external factors as flexibility of job schedules, adequacy of childcare arrangements, the presence of friends or neighbours who can help out in large of small emergencies, the quality of health and social services and neighbourhood safety.’ Bronfenbrenner (1979)
  • 7. ‘ We have to confront the constant tendency to regress to the individualisation of social problems’ Smale and others (1994) Negotiating Care in the Community
  • 8. Societal attitudes ‘ The challenges they (parents) face in bringing up their child are as much to do with the attitudes of society towards disability as they are to do with the child’s particular impairment...
  • 9. ...It takes exceptional parenting to compensate adequately for the discriminating pressures inherent in our society’ (Middleton 1998)
  • 10. Family and environment factors: The third side of the triangle
    • Family history and functioning
    • Wider family
    • Housing
    • Employment
    • Income
    • Family’s social integration
    • Community resources (inc. universal services)
  • 11.
    • ‘ Even in the most barren social landscape
    • there are likely to be at least some resources
    • and supports which can be tapped into’
    • Daniel, Gilligan and others (1999) Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers. p.303