What does “wellbeing” mean, especially in reference to children and young people? The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) has produced What’s in the Nest? to answer this question. ARACY introduces the booklet with this:
The Nest is Australia’s wellbeing framework for children and young people aged 0 to 24 years. It’s a way of thinking about the whole child in the context of their daily lives, viewing wellbeing in a way that brings together the different elements a child or young person needs to thrive. The Nest conceptualises wellbeing as six interconnected domains that support each other to help children reach their potential. To have optimal wellbeing, a child or young person needs to be adequately resourced in all six domains.
Why is a holistic view needed?
The introduction to the booklet points out that:
When many people talk about ‘wellbeing’ they are often referring to certain aspects only, such as mental health or social-emotional learning. While these are crucial elements, we need to ensure everyone working with, and for, children and young people, understands that ‘wellbeing’ refers to ALL six domains of the Nest, not just one or two. All areas need to be seen as a priority by all the adults in our children’s community.
You can download What’s in the Nest? from the ARACY website. It’s easy to read and makes a great starting point for any discussion about wellbeing of children and young people.