The OSU Center for Ethics and Human Values presents:
Professor Bill Gardner
"The Capability Model of Child Well-Being and Child Policy"
ABSTRACT: I propose a lifetime capability conception of child well-being. A child has well-being if she is functioning well in her current circumstances and is on a trajectory toward ac-quiring the capabilities that will enable her to function effectively as an adult. The essential ca-pabilities for child well-being are health, cognition, and social competence. Capabilities are de-fined relative to the critical life tasks in the stages of human development. A child’s trajectory on a capability dimension is the probability that she will acquire sufficient capabilities to func-tion successfully in the next life stage. Child policies and the practices of the professions that care for children should be guided by this concept of well-being. For example, the norm of care for child health care providers should be the achievement of sufficiency of lifetime capa-bility for all children. In pediatrics, this norm would reshape the measurement of child health, the practice of pediatrics, and the organization of pediatric health care systems. These changes, if accomplished, would advance justice by prioritizing the care of the disadvantaged, reducing the inequality of outcomes, and promoting the democratic equality of citizens.