child with umbrella in puddle with autumn leaves looking up towards the camera

Project: Connected Children: Partnership for a knowledge-based and innovative prevention

This project combines practice and research for the development of knowledge-based prevention. The aim is to develop early and coordinated interventions for children and youth in difficult life situations, as well as strengthen promotion for children and youth in general.

Project information

Project manager
Torbjörn Forkby
Other project members
Mats Anderberg, Sofia Enell, Johan Malmqvist and Angelika Thelin, Linnaeus University; Karin Pernebo, Linnaeus University and Region Kronoberg; Josefin Bernhardsson, FoU Nordost; Kari Jess, Dalarna University; Pamela Massoudi, Region Kronoberg; Anna Petersén, Örebro University; Sweden
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, FoU Nordost, Dalarna University, Örebro University, Region Kronoberg and the eight municipalities in the County of Kronoberg, Falun Municipality, Ystad Municipality, Lidingö Municipality
Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte)
1 Jul 2021–30 Jun 2027
Social Work (Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

Connected Children is a practice–research partnership aimed to develop knowledge-based promotion of wellbeing and prevention of development problems among children and adolescents. The programme engages with relevant national and international policies. The view is to develop early and coordinated interventions for those in difficult living situations, and to strengthen facilitative initiatives for children and adolescents in general.

Connected Children involves research-supported development work at four sites in Sweden, all of which draw inspiration from the Scottish GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) model. The model is perceived to foster and to contribute to holistic thinking about children and adolescents, early identification and the coordination of interventions among different supporting actors. The idea is to take advantage of, and enhance, children’s or adolescents’ ordinary living context and better accommodate their own perspectives and participation in issues important to them.

The knowledge processes within the programme are organised under three main themes, all of which have proven to pose major challenges in the practical work:

  1. System optimization: Systemic and management changes within organisations that allow them to achieve their goals.
  2. Alliance building: Collaboration and interplay among the various actors.
  3. Holistic life-course perspective: Targeting practices through which children and adolescents in need of supplementary developmental support are identified, offered interventions, and followed up.

These three themes are connected through the overarching question of how the developmental work relates to children’s rights, including how their voices and agency are accommodated.

The programme will include interdisciplinary studies and comparative analyses of the change processes, how their intentions are translated locally, and what consequences they have for children, adolescents, and parents.

Young Expert Group

Part of the research program is about inviting young people who have their own experience of different types of support efforts from professionals. Through the Young Expert Group, young people between the ages of 13 and 17 will be able to create and develop thoughts and ideas about how, by whom and when they want professionals to offer support.

These ideas will then be spread, in the way the young people themselves wish, to professionals, development work and within the research program. The starting point is that the young are the real experts on how support could look like and function. Sofia Enell is responsible researcher for Young Expert Group.

Connections to projects and groups

This program runs for six years and is a continuation of and geographical broadening of the previous research project Organizing for trust – coordinated efforts for children's best. It is also part of the research in the Research on Interventions and Support for Children and Youth (RISCY) research group.

Report "Att sätta hjulet i rullning"

There is a great need to develop forms of follow-up on how investments in early and coordinated interventions work. This report proposes how such follow-up can look when it comes to the health and living conditions of children and young people. Data from the health and lifestyle survey in Kronoberg County has been related to the so-called Child's Best Wheel, which includes different dimensions of children's and young people's lives that are important for their well-being. The analysis compares the results from the county's municipalities to indicate which development needs may exist and where. The report also discusses how follow-up can provide a basis for systematic development work. For questions about the report, contact one of the authors.

Report "Att sätta hjulet i rullning" (Swedish)

Research paper on the translation of the wellbeing wheel

The Scottish model Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is introduced in several places in Sweden as a model to support earlier and coordinated prevention among children and young people. The wellbeing wheel is a central aspect of this model and used for identifying needs and planning for appropriate support. Ideally the wheel should be used in all activities approaching children and young people and there promote a common understanding of children’s needs and facilitate joint planning. However, the wheel when translated into different localities in Sweden has been given various forms that all deviates from the original construct logic. The article analyses and discusses how Scotland's wellbeing wheel has been translated into three Swedish contexts and what consequences the adaptions (deviations) may have for the way in which the needs of children and young people are perceived, understood and met.

See the popular science version (in Swedish) 

New research article about the implementation of the Scottish model

The so-called well-being wheel has a central function in mapping the needs of children and young people and identifying any support needs at an early stage. The prototype of the wheel was developed in Scotland as part of the GIRFEC (Getting it right for every child) initiative, but has since been translated to work in various local contexts in Sweden. The article analyzes the different translations and the discussion raises questions about what really needs to be translated for a model to work and the risk of the translation changing the original idea.
Contact person: Mats Anderberg.

Read the article about the implementation of the Scottish model