Unpacking the complexities of child well‐being in Southeast Asia: Insights for social policy

Hamzah Nor BIN AEDY RAHMAN, Tauchid Komara YUDA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The body of knowledge related to child well-being in Southeast Asia is sketchy and preliminary. Using standardized Z-scores, we computed the child well-being index (CWI) to observe how well 11 Southeast Asian countries take care of children. The overall result shows most countries in this region have “less” to “moderate” performance in terms of CWI realization. An exception is given to Singapore, which has achieved a higher degree of CWI. Further analysis on “child well-being regimes” suggests that examined countries have been combining productive and protective models with more emphasis on the former. The explanation for the low level of CWI and pervasive characteristic of productivism may rest on moral argumentation, in which child well-being is constructed as an intimate and private area. Public provisions to regulate child well-being, consequently, remain hidden behind the family unit as objects rather than subjects of social policy. Tied to low-performance countries, we call for generous welfare programs to support low-income families and intensified effort for the provision of quality education, healthcare, and basic facilities in order to enhance the well-being of children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Social Work and Policy Review
Volume16
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to Stefan K?hner for his insightful comments on the initial draft of the paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

Keywords

  • child well-being
  • productive
  • protective
  • Southeast Asia
  • standardized Z-score
  • welfare regimes

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