Our health is impacted by several factors outside of those that are strictly medical. Conditions such as where we were born, educational background, work experience, race and culture, and social class all impact our health. These socioeconomic conditions are known as social determinants of health.
Understanding the social determinants of health can help us understand the broader forces that lead to inequitable child and family well-being outcomes. For example, families from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and families living in poverty face challenges that hinder their access to healthy living and working conditions. An equitable child welfare system promotes policy and system changes that create equitable opportunities for all families. This involves looking at the root causes of system involvement and prioritizing upstream prevention by connecting families with economic and concrete supports before system involvement becomes necessary.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion identifies five key social determinants of health: economic stability, education access and quality, health-care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.
Explore the following resources to understand how social determinants of health impact child and family outcomes and well-being.
Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.
Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
Families have economic stability when they have sufficient, reliable income to meet their basic needs. Promoting economic stability for families can address the root causes of poverty and prevent child welfare system involvement.
Social and Community Context
Children, youth, and families thrive when they have social support from family, friends, and others in the communities where they live, work, learn, worship, and connect. Learn how social and community context affects health and well-being.
Understanding Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity
Examine the social determinants of health, which offer a framework for understanding the conditions and risk factors that can lead to negative health outcomes for families and the protective factors that can lower the likelihood of negative outcomes. ...Read More
2023/2024 Prevention Resource Guide
Find information on actions taken as a society and within communities, organizations, and families to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect and how communities are doing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive.
Addressing Social Determinants of Health: Examples of Successful Evidence-Based Strategies and Current Federal Efforts
Find information on Federal strategies to address social determinants of health and ways to improve conditions that can impact the health of Americans.
Social Determinants to Inform Your Approach
Explore social determinants of health, or circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, and work that affect health. Understanding how social determinants of health correlate to populations at risk can inform a service delivery approach.
Disparities in Housing, Health Care, Child Care, and Economic Security Affect Babies for Life
Learn how policies related to social determinants of health, such as access to safe, secure housing; family employment and economic stability; education; and child care support infant and toddler health and have strong impacts on brain development.
Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
Find information on the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing it for frontline caseworkers who directly engage families to promote safety, permanency, and well-being.