Events Calendar
Feb 13
15:00 - 17:00
Living Assessment: health, measurement, and thresholds for disabled and at-risk children from 1989 to the present
Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture
Professor Julie Anderson (Kent)

This is a Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture.

Abstract: Disabled children and children at risk undergo a range of assessments and are judged by various agencies to reach thresholds for different types of care. Living Assessments will bring medical humanities approaches to the study of two important assessments of children in Britain since 1989: attempts to measure the support requirements of disabled children and their families; and attempts to measure threats of harm to children's health and development in statutory social work practice. An escalating combination of factors has put both assessments into crisis, changing their scope and social meaning. For instance, an 'investigative turn' in social work means that one in five children in England are now referred to children's services before the age of five, whilst supportive services have been cut by 60% since 2010. Austerity has also altered the context of service provision for disabled children, which can make even getting an assessment a difficult challenge. This paper will draw on historical analysis to understand issues surrounding children's health, and how medical humanities can reveal how 'health' itself is conceptualised over time.​ Funding generously provided by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.


Lecture Theatre 1,
Cornwallis Central,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,


Contact: Alexandra Couto


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012