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Promoting the Well-Being of Children Through Child Indicators: An Approach to Data-Based Advocacy Presentation to the Conference on Measuring the Progress.

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Presentation on theme: "Promoting the Well-Being of Children Through Child Indicators: An Approach to Data-Based Advocacy Presentation to the Conference on Measuring the Progress."— Presentation transcript:

1 Promoting the Well-Being of Children Through Child Indicators: An Approach to Data-Based Advocacy Presentation to the Conference on Measuring the Progress of Societies World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy June 2007

2 2 The Casey Foundations Interest in Data-Based Advocacy The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Started in 1948 by Jim Casey, the founder of United Parcel Service (UPS) Committed to using a data-based approach to build better futures for disadvantaged children in the USA Currently funds a number of data-based advocacy projects focused on children Focus today: KIDS COUNT, and a series of reports, Growing Up in North America

3 3 Our Framework for Data-Based Advocacy Reliable data: a carefully selected set of reliable indicators, regularly available, combined with…. Multiple communication methods, through varied media, combined with… Advocacy to reach audiences of local, state, and federal policymakers

4 4 KIDS COUNT A national project begun in 1990 to: Increase public awareness of vulnerable children Elevate childrens issues on the public and policymakers agendas Enhance the use of data as the basis for decision-making

5 5 KIDS COUNT: Two Parts to the Strategy National strategy, to generate a climate of concern and action: –Annual Data Book –Interactive on-line data systems –Supplemental publications State level strategy, to equip advocates and inspire state policymakers to action: –Funded network of state grantees –Publish regular data at the state and county level –Seen as independent voice for children

6 6 National KIDS COUNT KIDS COUNT Data Book Annual ranking of all 50 states on overall child well-being, using 10 key indicators Simple/easily understood measures, available regularly and reliably Designed for use by advocates to mobilize for action

7 7 KIDS COUNT Indicators National Data Book – 10 indicators used to rank states – Child Poverty–Single Parent Families Infant Mortality–Low Birth Weight Babies –Child Deaths–Teen Deaths –Teen Births–High School Dropouts –Idle Teens–Underemployed Parents Over 100 more indicators available on-line

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9 9 Why Choose Just These 10 Indicators? Reflect wide range of factors affecting the well-being of children (health, educational attainment, economic security) Reflect childrens experiences across developmental stages Permit legitimate comparisons because they are consistent across states and over time Have policy relevance and communication value Track well with other major child indicator studies that include many more indicators

10 10 State-Level KIDS COUNT State-Level KIDS COUNT organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and USA Virgin Islands: –Most are state-level child advocacy organizations, some universities and three state government agencies –Have become trusted sources of data on children and families

11 11 How Do We Measure Results? Three measures: Media presence Level of knowledge and use of KIDS COUNT by policy makers Effectiveness of state-level child advocacy: what happens as a result of this work?

12 12 Strong Media Presence Release of Annual Data Book Average 1,000 newspaper articles annually (reaching an avg. 50 million readers) Average 500 airings on 250 stations annually (reaching an avg. 16 million viewers) Medias on-going use of KIDS COUNT data: average of 2 – 3 stories per week across the country

13 13 High Level of Use By Policy Makers GROUP Percent Saying They Are AWARE of KIDS COUNT Percent Saying They USE KIDS COUNT State Legislative Leaders88%73% State Legislative Staff91%73% Business Leaders51%26% County Officials45%27% Congressional Staff46%36%

14 14 How Do People Use the Data? How people Use KIDS COUNT Data Book (Only those familiar with KIDS COUNT were asked these questions) State Legislators State Legislative Staff State Legis. Leaders Business Leaders County Officials Inform myself about childrens issues 79% 51%68%44%35% Background Research 68% 91%65%44%28% Legislative Committee Deliberations 49%33% 41%NA Craft Legislation, Policies, or Programs 49% 28%51%30%19%

15 15 KIDS COUNT Results: State Level Policy Results Across the USA, the data-based advocacy work of the KIDS COUNT network has influenced the improvement of programming and increased funding for vulnerable children and families

16 16 KIDS COUNT Results: Selected State Level Policy Results Illinois: Advocacy of the KIDS COUNT organization -- Voices for Illinois Children – helped Illinois become the 1 st state to offer high quality preschool to all 3 – 4 year olds ($45 M additional funding allocated). Texas: Center for Public Policy Priorities used their KIDS COUNT work to help secure $561 M for childrens health care and a $248 M increase in child welfare programs in Texas. Arizona: Using research and data-based advocacy, Childrens Action Alliance in Arizona helped to make this one of the few states to eliminate waiting lists for child care subsidies and increase the age for children to leave foster care to 21.

17 17 One Effort to Learn Internationally In 2002, an International learning exchange brought together nine nations to share approaches to data-based advocacy –Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Chile, UK, Israel, Jordan, Ireland and the USA Many differences in strategy, but common principles What emerged: –A shared framework –International learning –Joint work: Children of North America Project

18 18 Children of North America Project Canada The Canadian Council on Social Development Mexico Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en Mexico (The Childrens Rights Network in Mexico) USA The Annie E. Casey Foundation Population Reference Bureau

19 19 Growing Up in North America Objective To raise the visibility of childrens well-being of children across a region where the economic, social, and cultural links have grown stronger through past decades Primary Products An indicator report series that is readily accessible and a credible source of information for families, communities, public and private policy makers, and opinion leaders – Overview – Health and Safety – Economic Well-Being – Personal and Civic Engagement

20 20 Data-Based Advocacy: What Were Learning Regularly producing data, allied with the right communication methods, can alter public awareness Data-based advocacy helps move people toward action In our country, comparisons (and some competition) can lead to action Data gains power when the capacity of advocates is regularly supported

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