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Measuring child wellbeing Sam Coope and Ian Storrie Scottish Government Education Analytical Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring child wellbeing Sam Coope and Ian Storrie Scottish Government Education Analytical Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring child wellbeing Sam Coope and Ian Storrie Scottish Government Education Analytical Services

2 Wellbeing is a positive and sustainable state that allows individuals, groups or nations to thrive and flourish. Wellbeing comprises objective descriptors and subjective evaluations of physical, material, social and emotional wellbeing, together with the extent of personal development and purposeful activity, all weighted by a set of values. What is Wellbeing?

3 Wellbeing is a positive physical, social and mental state; it is not just the absence of pain, discomfort and incapacity. It requires that basic needs are met, that individuals have a sense of purpose, that they feel able to achieve important personal goals and participate in society. It is enhanced by conditions that include supportive personal relationships, strong and inclusive communities, good health, financial and personal security, rewarding employment, and a healthy and attractive environment. Governments role is to enable people to have a fair access now and in the future to the social, economic and environmental resources needed to achieve wellbeing. An understanding of the effect of policies on the way people experience their lives is important for designing and prioritising them. What is Wellbeing? (Contd)

4 6000BC Weapon wielding infants 5500 BC First recorded murder by child CHILD WELLBEING TIMELINE 1860 AD Child thief begs for food 1800 AD Malingering children only work 12 hour day 1987 AD Waving wobbly sticks at children banned 2007 AD Scotland cares about cute childrens wellbeing

5 How we got to where we are…

6 Material Deprivation – Relative Income, Households without jobs Health & Safety – Infant Mortality, Immunisations Educational Well-being – School Achievement, Post- 15 Education Relationships – Family Structure, Peer Relationships Behaviours & Risks – Health Behaviours, Experience of Violence Subjective Well-being – Self-assessed indicators. UNICEF Domains of Wellbeing

7 Average Ranking Material Deprivation Health & Safety Educational Well-BeingRelationships Behaviours & Risks Subjective Well-being Netherlands Sweden Denmark Finland Spain Switzerland Norway Italy Ireland Belgium Germany Canada Greece Poland Czech Republic France Portugal Austria Hungary United States N/A UK Overall - unicef

8 Barnardos Index of Wellbeing Looks at 7 key indicators of wellbeing – child poverty, NEET, PISA scores, suicide rates, teenage pregnancy, birth weight, and dental health Indicators combined to create one measure – an index of child wellbeing. Barnardos asked SG to become involved and take forward development of their work.

9 Overall - Barnardos


11 What next? Limitations of UNICEF/Barnardos approaches Going back to first principles…. Why measure child wellbeing? Are we measuring it adequately already?

12 Why measure wellbeing? Agreement on whats important what constitutes progress Maintain focus and stimulate attention The handrail of policy

13 Why compare ourselves to others? Shows countries relative strengths & weaknesses Shows what is achievable in practice Shows us that wellbeing is (to an extent) policy-susceptible More important for newly devolved nations?

14 Why measure child wellbeing?..or, what makes kids different? Well-becoming Well-being The right to be happy and well Adult vs child perceptions of wellbeing

15 How do we measure it already – in Scotland? Surveys Health Behaviours of Schoolage Children (HBSC) Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) Collections of indicators ScotPHO (Public Health Observatory) work Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)

16 Department for Children, Schools and Families Creation of the new Dept for Children, Schools and Families Evidence report aimed to: Inform CP policy development Present a wider and more up-to-date picture of wellbeing than available previously DCSFs work is based on a legal concept (set out in the Children Act 2004) of wellbeing which equates children and young people's wellbeing with the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes (healthy, safe, enjoy and achieve, positive contribution, economic well-being).

17 Northern Ireland Assembly All children will thrive and look forward with confidence to the future Children and Young People are : Healthy; Enjoying, learning and achieving; Living in safety and stability; Experiencing economic and environmental wellbeing; Contributing positively to community and society and Living in a society which respects their rights. Indicators being refined and enhanced to incorporate Childrens rights aspects

18 Welsh Assembly Government Child Wellbeing Monitor agreed in August 2007 Approximately 7 pages each on: Early Years Education and learning opportunities Health, freedom from abuse and victimisation Access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities Respect Having a safe home and community Freedom from Child poverty Measure of progress over time rather than geography

19 National Childrens Strategy (2000), leading to State of the Nations Children (2006) Domains used include: Physical & Mental Wellbeing Emotional and Behavioural Wellbeing Intellectual Capacity Spiritual and Moral Wellbeing Identity Self-care Family Relationships Social & Peer Relationships Social Presentation Measure of progress over time rather than geography Government of Ireland

20 10 Year commitment to improve data collection in relation to children Launched Growing Up in Ireland in January 2007 Government of Ireland

21 What will we measure in future? ?

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