Objective: To establish a model that estimates a preference-based measure (valuation) of social participation for children between 8 and 18 years of age from the Handicap Scale for Children (HSC), a validated questionnaire for children with a chronic illness. Methods: Vignettes of the HSC classification system were valued by a representative sample of 249 persons aged 18 years onwards. Linear and nominal scale (mixed-effects) models were used to analyze the valuations of the vignettes. Results: We established a model that performed better than a model that simply sums up the levels of each dimension. Conclusion: We obtained a measure that can be used for assessing need, for quality assurance and for evaluating interventions on a group level aiming to increase social participation in children with chronic illnesses. © 2008 Expert Reviews Ltd.