Assessing child and youth well-being: Implications for child welfare practice

Christine Lou, Elizabeth K. Anthony, Susan Stone, Catherine Vu, Michael Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The measurement of child well-being has become increasingly important in child welfare practice in the past ten years with the federal emphasis on measuring positive outcomes for children and families. Practical and methodological barriers to evaluating well-being exist alongside positive developments in the field. This article reviews the research literature related to child and youth well-being, providing a context for the discussion of measurement issues in child welfare settings. Based on a structured review of the literature, the article discusses instruments that appear to be most appropriate for use in a child welfare setting. Instruments are presented within stages of development, including (1) Infancy and Early Childhood, (2) Middle Childhood, and (3) Adolescence. Implications for the design and use of child well-being instruments in child welfare practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-133
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Social Work
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Child
  • Instruments
  • Strengths-based assessment
  • Well-being
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Sociology and Political Science


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