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Keeping Children Safe Strategic Data and Research Developments Sinéad Hanafin PhD Head of Research Department of Children and Youth Affairs University.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping Children Safe Strategic Data and Research Developments Sinéad Hanafin PhD Head of Research Department of Children and Youth Affairs University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping Children Safe Strategic Data and Research Developments Sinéad Hanafin PhD Head of Research Department of Children and Youth Affairs University College Cork 12 th September 2011

2 Department of Children and Youth Affairs Established in June 2011 Responsibility for harmonising policy issues that affect children in:  Early childhood care and education  Youth justice  Child welfare and protection  Children and young people's participation  Research on children and young people  Youth work and  Cross-cutting initiatives for children and young people

3 Priority areas  The establishment of a Child and Family Agency  Referendum on children’s rights  Development of improved data, particularly real time data on children in need of care and protection  Coordinated approach to services and supports on children’s lives including health and educational services  Development of a national children and youth strategy

4 National Children’s Research Programme

5 Principles  Take account of the complexity and multi-dimensionality of children’s lives and the inter-linkages between them  Incorporate an understanding of the multiple systems that surround them  Include both positive and negative aspects of their lives  Include both subjective and objective approaches  Adopt different methodologies as appropriate  Privilege the voice of children

6 Capacity Building Support & advice Dissemination Infrastructure Commissioned Research National Children’s Strategy Goal 2 Children’s Research Programme 2000-2011

7 Highlights  Growing up in Ireland: the National Longitudinal Study of Children (€29 million)  Commissioned research programme (29 studies inc GUI)  Masters / PhD capacity building programme (38 funded)  Research internship programme (16 placements)  Data development and infrastructure including publication of State of the Nation’s Children Reports 2006, 2008, 2010  Development of including 4 additional databases in 2010  Support for the initiation of the Children’s Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland


9 Evidence base to support development of Strategy  Literature review (Gavin et al. 2008)  Cross-national case study on data systems (Clerkin et al. 2008)  Review of national and international strategies on data and research (Hanafin et al. 2009)

10 Data processes analysis Data process needs arising in policy – e.g. standardisation, dissemination Needs expressed in consultation – extension of existing data collection to new groups, streamline reporting processes, more targeted dissemination Inventory examined for use of unique identifiers, standardisation of key variables Identify potential improvements in data collection & production processes Review of policy (2000-2008) 50 policy documents 1,887 recommendations Categorised by whether relating to data & research or other activity, WCP domain – content and focus, Life course, Child group. More than half related to Health and Education Inventory of data sources 117 data sources (20% survey, 80% admin) ~11,000 variables (45% survey, 55% admin). Classified by same categories as policy recs. Key socio-demographic variables & equality markers identified Public consultation Conducted through workshop with OMCYA CYPF (2008) and on-line questionnaire (2009). Questionnaire had ~200 responses from a range of organisations – Government, NGO, Hospitals, Cultural, Education, Local bodies. Issues around both content & data processes raised Gap analysis (content) Data & research needs arising from data / research specific policy recs Additional data & research needs arising from other policy recs Additional data & research needs arising from consultation Current data provision (inventory) Identify existing/perceived gaps Recommendations (content) Recommendations relating to CHILD / FAMILY / SOCIETY 4 content headings HEALTH EDUCATION PARTICIPATION & SOCIAL CONTEXT FAMILY SITUATION & CONTEXT Recommendations (process) Data culture Data sharing Data collection / research design Dissemination strategies & data use Resources

11 Overview of Strategy  One aim and five objectives  Two broad categories: –Outcome areas of children’s lives (five) –Cross- cutting issues across the data and research cycle  > 20 Departments / Agencies involved in implementation  Approximately 120 actions

12 Aim of Strategy The aim of the Strategy is to set out a plan to guide and support the development of research and data around children’s lives over the next five years for the purpose of ensuring children and young people benefit from improved understandings of their lives.

13 Actions and objectives

14 Five Outcome Areas of Children’s Lives  Outcome Area 1: Children will be healthy both physically and emotionally  Outcome Area 2: Children will be supported in active learning  Outcome Area 3: Children will be safe from accidental and intentional harm and secure in the immediate and wider physical environment  Outcome Area 4: Children will be economically secure  Outcome Area 5: Children will be part of positive networks of family, friends, neighbours, and the community and included and participating in society

15 Children will be safe from accidental and intentional harm and secure in the immediate and wider physical environment  Non-accidental (including for example, child abuse, self- harm and environmental hazards such as pollution) and accidental harm.  Children’s safety in different settings (e.g. home, community, broader environment)  Risk behaviours, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use by children, parents and others in their broader environment  Crimes committed by, and against, young people  Preventive, protective and remedial services with a particular focus on describing, documenting, identifying and evaluating services and interventions.

16 Safe from accidental and intentional harm and secure in the immediate and wider physical environment DATA

17 Child protection reports Number and percentage of child welfare and protection reports that went to initial assessment, by type of concern (2006-2008) 20062007*2008 No. % Total12,52015,07415,364100.0 Type of concern Welfare6,2217,6907,51848.9 Physical abuse1,2911,5291,70411.1 Sexual abuse1,4951,7151,65710.8 Emotional abuse1,1001,2331,2708.3 Neglect2,4132,9073,21520.9 *excludes Waterford LHO returns. Source: Child Care Interim Data Set, HSE

18 Youth homelessness ‘Well, I’m on the streets about 6, 7 months. I used to get beatings at home and all by my step-father. My real father is dead and my mother, she’s an alcoholic and she’s always drinking an’ all, and anytime she gets drunk and all and, when he (stepfather) gets drunk, he always beats me up. And that’s how I ended up on the streets. Came into town and stayed on the streets’. (Young man aged 15) Source: Mayock, P. and Vekic, K. (2006) Understanding Youth Homelessness. Dublin: Government Publications.

19 Smoking, alcohol and drug use (1) Source: Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children

20 Smoking, alcohol and drug use (2) OlderBoysLower Social classes TravellerImmigrantDisability Smoke cigarettes every day ↑n/s↑↑ Have been drunk at least once in the last 30 days ↑↑n/s↑↓ Have taken cannabis at least once in their lifetime ↑↑n/s↑ Source: Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children (2006)

21 Children in detention (1) Individuals who were in detention at any time during 2010* TotalFemaleMale Individuals Remanded 1042480 Individuals Committed 561145 Total Individuals Admitted 1252699 * includes those in detention on 1st Jan 2010) Source: An Garda Siochana

22 ‘Oh, I was 15 and I asked to get into a young people’s centre, yeah, or I think I was 14, yeah 14, and I went to Youthreach and he said I was too young…. (so) I hung around the streets getting charged…. Two months later, (I was sent to) Trinity House, good luck!’ Source: Seymour, M. and Butler, M. (2008) Young People on Remand. Dublin: Government Publications Children in detention (2)

23 Referrals to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme % of referrals to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme, by type of offence Source: An Garda Siochana (2009)

24 Deliberate Self Harm (DSH) In 2010:  The peak rate of DSH for females aged 15-19 years is 639 per 100,000  The peak rate of DSH for males aged 20-24 years is 626 per 100,000  One in every 157 females aged 15-19 years and one in every 160 males aged 20-24 years presented to hospital in 2010 as a consequence of DSH. Source: National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm

25 Accidents and injuries Source: Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (2009) No. of discharges from hospital for external causes of accidents and poisoning, by age and gender

26 Unsupervised internet use Source: Growing Up in Ireland (2009) % of children who are allowed to use the internet without parental or other adult supervision, by gender, social class and highest level of mother's educational attainment

27 Mothers and children’s perceived community safety Source: Growing Up in Ireland (2009)

28 Challenges in data quality  The extent to which the data source provided national coverage  The timeliness of the data  Comparability of the information between different geographical areas  Level of certainty regarding the accuracy of the information. Source:Hanafin S. and Brooks AM (2008) From rhetoric to reality: Challenges in using data to report on a national set of child well-being indicators. Child Indicators Research

29 HSE - Adequacy of services report 2009

30 Key data sources on safety  The Child Care Interim Data Set of the HSE – to be replaced by the National Child Care Information System currently in development.  Hospital In-:Patient Enquiry System Hopsital discharges  The European Schools Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD) gives highly detailed information on children’s exposure, attitudes and behaviours in relation to alcohol and drugs.  Growing Up in Ireland and the HBSC survey contains items on alcohol and drug use, road safety and children’s perceptions of the area in which they live and the people in it.  The Department of Justice and Law Reform hold data on asylum seeking children including those who are separated from their families and the Garda Siochana Juvenile Diversion Programme hold data on children who have committed offences and the PULSE system contains data on child victims of crime.

31 Data and research priorities  Rates of occurrence of accidental injury and factors influencing these events  Children’s pathways through child protection and alternative care services. The nature of children and family interactions with the child protection system and resultant outcomes. The immediate and longer term impact of child protection services on families and children taking account of their wellbeing and well becoming.  The suitability of the built environment in which children live, attend school and receive other services, including the availability of safe open spaces;  The type and quality of children’s interactions with the criminal justice system and pathways through the system for children who have committed offences.

32 Access to GUI data Data from the first waves of data collection from both cohorts are now available. How can the QUANTITATIVE DATA be accessed?  The Anonymised Microdata File (AMF) is a publicly available anonymised dataset. Researchers wishing to access the AMF should apply to the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) at  The Researcher Microdata File (RMF) is a more detailed dataset. Access to the RMF is subject to appointment of the researcher as an Officer of Statistics by the Central Statistics Office, meaning that the researcher is subject to the full rigour and penalties of the Statistics Act, 1993. Researchers wishing to access the RMF should apply to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs How can the QUALITATIVE DATA be accessed?  Researchers wishing to access the qualitative data file should apply to the Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA) at

33 Key actions  Joint DCYA / IRCHSS Programme – buying out teaching time, PhD and Masters fellowships  Summer Schools / Winter workshops  Prioritised research programme  Growing up in Ireland Knowledge Transfer Strategy with prioritised areas annually  Development of to become more comprehensive, interactive, timely and  Development and extension of administrative databases – focusing on children’s health and children in the care of the State

34 Research Division Department of Children and Youth Affairs Email:

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