Childonomics- Measuring the long-term social and economic value of investing in children

Quality4Children Standards for Out-of-Home Child Care in Europe


This research paper summarises the main concepts behind Childonomics and presents the key findings so far. It is based on research carried out between June 2016 and December 2017 which developed a methodology, based on a Cost Consequence Analysis approach, to help reflect on the long-term social and economic return of investing in children and families.

The methodology was tested in Malta and Romania. This work should be seen as a first step in better understanding inputs, outputs and outcomes linked to policies, services and public spending choices.

The study highlights the importance of taking a systemic approach to child and family services, to being more attentive to the outcomes interventions aim to achieve, and to ensuring effective data gathering and monitoring systems.

Eurochild is currently exploring with members and partners the further development and testing of the Childonomics framework and methodology. More information is available on the Eurochild website.

Read a summary of the project here.

Read the Introduction to the conceptual framework and methodology


  IFCO (International Foster Care Organisation), SOS Children’s Villages, and FICE (Fédération Internationale des Communautés Educatives), developed a set of quality standards for out-of-home child and youth care in Europe seeking to improve the care situation for hundreds of thousands of concerned young people. This publication presents the Q4C project and the resulting quality standards for out-of-home childcare in Europe. The overall aim is to share ‘good practices’ and make tools available to improve conditions for children and young people living in alternative care and to ensure that their rights are fulfilled and best interests are met.

A total of 32 European countries participated in the project. There are 18 standards, which have been divided into three chapters: Decision-making and admission process, Care-taking process and Leaving-care process. These standards could never have been developed without the valuable participation of 163 children and young adults, 36 biological parents, 106 caregivers and 24 extended family members, lawyers and government representatives from across Europe.

Download a PDF of the Quality4Children Standards (English). 

Link to website with Quality 4Children Standards in 27 languages.