Children's Wellbeing - What Is Children's Wellbeing?

Children's Wellbeing
Changemakers Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Ashoka’s network Fellows and social entrepreneurs work across many spaces that touch the lives of children — education, healthcare, community development, and child and family services. Their insights and experiences guided this powerful framework that defines children's wellbeing and the approaches needed to usher in a culture where every child is supported.


Wellbeing for children means...

A child is equipped with a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose.


“What do children need? They need to know, ‘I am lovable, I am safe, I can trust other people to meet my needs.’”

– Amelia Franck Meyer, Ashoka Fellow, Founder of Anu Family Services



How do we create this world? Social entrepreneurs identified four cross-sector approaches that equip society to foster a culture of wellbeing for children.


Approach 1
Change Who We’re Caring For

Design solutions and systems that address both children’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the adult caregivers in their lives.


Approach 2
Change What We’re Developing

Cultivate inner development in children so that they develop self-awareness and can explore their relationship with the world.


Approach 3
Change How Service Providers Operate

Involve a myriad of voices from a child’s community to co-create solutions that prioritize what is best for the child.


Approach 4
Change The Intended Impact

Prioritize places of spiritual, emotional, and physical healing to unlock collective power and community resilience.



Towards a Culture of Wellbeing

Ashoka believes that targeting culture change will create a ripple effect that fundamentally shifts the way society operates—by altering norms within institutions, among communities, and in adult-child relationships.

Creating change within individual organization brings us closer to a culture of health and wellbeing. But a more rapid shift can be made by implementing the above approaches to change the environment in which children grow up.

Social innovators and are not only creating new innovative organizations that nurture children’s wellbeing, they are also designing ways to inspire, incentivize, and infuse a wellbeing mindset into American society.