Changing the Odds for Vulnerable Children

Building Opportunities and Resilience

image of Changing the Odds for Vulnerable Children

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.




The OECD established the Inclusive Growth Initiative in 2012 to provide answers on how to reduce the problems of inequality and lack of opportunities that many OECD countries have experienced over the last decades. In 2018, the Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth was launched to help countries design policies that makes growth more inclusive. This report, Changing the Odds for Vulnerable Children: Building Opportunities and Resilience, positions investing in the well-being of vulnerable children as a central action for inclusive growth, along the recommendations of the first pillar of the Framework that emphasises the importance of investing in people and places left behind.


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