Policies for Child Welfare and Protection PDF Print

ΕΕ10–Policies for Child Welfare and Protection

Tutor: Despina Karakatsani

Semester: 4th
ECTS: 4.5

Short Description:

This course will examine some of the major axes in the history of child welfare and protection in the 19th and 20th century within the Greek and European context. The focus will be on legislation, policies and practical aspects for the prevention, protection and care of children in different sectors such as health, education, social care, nutrition, justice, employment/labour, family settlements/orphan. We will follow the evolution of the child welfare system according to changing beliefs and attitudes about what role government and the various public or private institutions should play in order to deal with abused, marginalised, abandoned, excluded and destitute children.

This course probes into the social institutions for child healthcare established at particular political and social junctures in the Greek and European context, and explores questions such as: The procedures which led to changes in social health policy, the circumstances under which reform was implemented and the public figures with a key role in the attempted reforms; The profound impact of political changes and war on the establishment of institutions for child health supervision; The physicians’, especially paediatricians’, contribution to the formation of child healthcare policy; The framework of collaboration of physicians with international health organizations and the ways this collaboration affected plans for public health reform; The construction of the cultural categories of illness and physical and mental health;


This course aims to help students acquire a good overview of the legislative/epistemological and socio-political aspects in the history of childhood, a more specific focus on social policy and child welfare and on protection measures. More specifically this course focuses on underlining the change of mentalities towards children and childhood in different historical periods and in different national and cultural contexts in connection with economic, social and political aspects and parameters.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completing the course, students should be able:

  • To analyse the major theories and models of child welfare in relationship to national, cultural and socio-political aspects
  • To compare different models of social policy and child welfare in different countries and settings
  • To consider the role of institutions, individuals and the State.
  • To analyse the role of international organizations, international politics and the limits of Humanitarianism
  • To analyse the child welfare institutions and settings within the Greek context in the 20th century
  • To identify the Greek particularities compared to the European and Balkan models


The course will include 13 three-hour interactive lectures supported, where appropriate, by written texts and PowerPoint presentations; student discussions of pre-issued questions and key readings; student presentations on topics relating to their assignments.


Assessment will be based on
Α) an essay (up to 5000 Words) or a small research project with an analysis of documents, reviews, texts and oral testimonies with a very good structure, synthesis, analysis, presentation and bibliography
Β) participation in the discussions and analysis of texts and documents
C) presentation of the essay at the last 2 courses


Ackerknecht E. Η. (1998), History of Medicine, Marathias Athens.
Daskalakis D. (2008), Poverty, social exclusion and childhood, Sakkoulas.
Korasidou Μ. (2002), When Disease is Threatening. Supervision and Control of the Population in 19th-century, Typothito, Athens.
Liakos Α. (1993), Labour and Policy in Interwar Greece, Athens.
Makrynioti D. (ed.) (2001), Childhood-Texts, Nissos, Athens.
Makrynioti D. (ed.) (2010), Worlds of Childhood, EMEA, Athens.
Riginos, Μ. (1995), Forms of Child Labour in industry Athens.
Theodorou V., Karakatsani D. (2010), Hygiene Imperatives. Medical Inspection and Child Welfare, Dionikos, Athens.
Vigarello G. (2000), Concepts of Cleanliness: Changing Attitudes in France since the Middle Ages, Athens, Alexandria.