Policies and services for children at risk

Documentation of an International Expert Meeting


Riepl, B., Wilk, L., Berman, Y.




Riepl, B., Wilk, L. & Berman, Y. (2002). Policies and Services for Children at Risk. Documentation of an International Expert Meeting, Eurosocial Reports Series 70. Vienna: European Centre.


This publication documents the proceedings of a virtual International Expert Meeting on Policies and Services for Children at Risk, jointly organized by the European Centres Programme Area Childhood and Youth and the Israeli Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which took place at the beginning of September 2001. The publication consists of four parts.

The two contributions in Part I (Who Are Children at Risk?) aim to identify the main risk factors. In the first paper (Wilk/Riepl), a sociological concept of risk factors in post-modern societies has been developed which demonstrates that threats to children can be found on very different levels. While the origin of some problems may be situated within the individual, many other problems arise in areas like the family, child-specific institutions or the cultural and political sphere of a specific society. The second paper in Part I (de Geus et al.) describes the results of a study which consisted of an international comparative analysis of research and policy programmes with regard to children and youth at risk.

Part II, i.e. Orientations for Policies and Services for Children at Risk, starts with a paper on the division of responsibilities between the public and the private sector which, in addition, points out that decision-makers have to learn to integrate a child- and a family-centred perspective (Filler). The next paper (Stark) then introduces the empowerment approach and stresses its importance as a conceptual background in the work both with parents as well as with children at risk. The last contribution in this part (Friedman)explains how results and performance accountability work and how they can measurably improve the well-being of children and families.

Part III on Models of Good Practice in Policies and Services for Children at Risk then presents four practice examples which demonstrate how children at risk can be approached not only differently but in a holistic way. The four described models are: Israels policy towards children and youth at risk (Dolev), Missouris Caring Communities (Martin), the Family Group Conferences in New Zealand (Doolan) and the Home Visiting Programme for Ethiopian Immigrant Families in Israel (Lipsky/Moshayov).

The publication is rounded off by the conference report (Berman) which within a new structure provides an overview on all the topics mentioned in the papers and the discussions.


  • Risk Factors Endangering Children in Post-Modern Societies by Liselotte Wilk / Barbara Riepl
  • Children and Youth at Risk: An International Comparison of Risk Factors and Programmes by Wendy de Geus / Theo Buis / Eef Jacobs / Lia Mulder
  • The Impact of Different Welfare State Models on the Child Welfare System by Ewald Filler
  • Empowerment and Social Change: A Concept for Children at Risk? by Wolfgang Stark
  • Results and Performance Accountability to Improve the Well-being of Children and Families by Mark Friedman
  • Israel´s Policy Towards Children and Youth at Risk: Context, Recent Trends and Current Dilemmas by Talal Dolev
  • Missouri´s Caring Communities by Dana Katherine Martin
  • Family Group Conferences - A Partnership Method by Mike Doolan
  • The Home Visiting Programme for Ethiopian Immigrant Families by Dina Lipsky / Daphne Moshayov
  • Policies and Services for Children at Risk. Report on the Expert Meeting by Yitzhak Berman


Books & contributions to books