Child vulnerability is the outcome of a range of complex factors that compound over
time. Across the OECD, millions of children from diverse backgrounds face daily hardships
ranging from poor housing and inadequate diets to maltreatment and unsafe neighbourhoods.
Vulnerability locks disadvantaged children into disadvantaged adulthood, putting the
brakes on social mobility. Investing in vulnerable children is not only an investment
in disadvantaged individuals, families and communities, it is an investment in more
resilient societies and inclusive economies.
This report analyses the individual and environmental factors that contribute to child
vulnerability. It calls on OECD countries to develop and implement cross-cutting well-being
strategies that focus on empowering vulnerable families; strengthening children’s
emotional and social skills; strengthening child protection; improving children’s
health and educational outcomes; and reducing child poverty and material deprivation.
Such policies reduce the barriers to healthy child development and well-being and
increase opportunities and resources, thereby helping vulnerable children build resilience.