Talking Back To Grownups: Healthy Children, Healthy Communities –
a report on the social determinants of health and middle childhood in Canada

the Healthy Children, Healthy Communities (HC2) project engages Canadians (including children) in learning about and raising awareness of the social factors that affect the health of kids aged 9-12 years old. HC2 envisions a Canada in which children’s health is a national priority and children themselves are engaged in understanding and influencing their own well-being.

Through community roundtables and a Child Health Perceptions Survey, children (aged 9-12) and people interested in child health exchange ideas and perceptions about social factors that impact health, including:

  • income
  • housing
  • social supports
  • racism
  • education
  • gender
  • the environment

Participants of the Healthy Children, Healthy Communities project create plans to improve children's health and to bring their priorities to decision makers in schools, communities and governments. All levels of government are included, be they municipal, provincial, territorial, national, and international. The Healthy Children, Healthy Communities project has four objectives:
  1. To identify child health PERCEPTIONS and PRIORITIES across Canada from the voices of children themselves, child health stakeholders and Canadians at large.
  2. To exchange knowledge on the IMPACTS of SOCIAL FACTORS on children's health in diverse communities across Canada.
  3. To develop MEASUREABLE and ACTIONABLE RECOMMENDATIONS for community development, provincial and national policy, and to bring these findings to the global community.
  4. To ENGAGE and EMPOWER children to speak out, share their ideas, and take action on their own health priorities from a social determinants of health perspective.
Project Outcomes include:
  • An expanded understanding of middle childhood health across Canada, which will emphasize the need to address underlying societal structures. Using prevention and health promotion principles, we will truly improve the health of communities.
  • A Child and Youth Network, in partnership with other youth-serving organizations, will sustain the momentum and energy of the project.
  • A Child Health Action Manual will highlight the creative actions developed by children across Canada, and will serve as a formal or informal curriculum tool for peer-to-peer education.
  • Measurable and Actionable Programme Recommendations will be brought forward to decision makers across Canada (e.g. schools, communities, governments).
  • Recommendations, which will be included in Canada's 2009 Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2009.


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