We aim to inform policy and practice to improve child health and reduce inequalities in England by developing a research programme to address two research areas, co-produced with the other programmes and cross-cutting themes:
How can we design better systems to improve child health and reduce inequalities at a local level? This will include a focus on systems-based approaches to improving early years outcomes and will include an assessment of the breadth of changing inputs and outputs at a local level, in order to explain inequalities in child health outcomes. We will identify the components of local system-wide approaches that promote cost-effective, equitable local policies/practices/interventions for child health within current resources available; outline best practice for a protective system to reduce child health inequalities; and work to implement and evaluate systems change at a local area level.
How can we promote better mental health and wellbeing for children and young people, including a focus on school based systems and interventions? This will include an assessment of the determinants and critical time points for intervention, including the role of the digital environment; and assessment of promising interventions for improving mental health in children and young people.
Addressing inequalities is at the heart of this work, with a focus on action on the social determinants of child health; and how can we influence policy to improve child health. We are committed to making sure that children’s voices are heard and represented throughout.