4105.0 - Children and Youth News, Apr 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/05/2005   
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Welcome to the fifth edition of Children & Youth News, the newsletter of the ABS National Children and Youth Statistics Unit (NCYSU). Children & Youth News is designed to highlight developments in children and youth related statistics and present feature articles analysing data on topical issues related to children and youth.


Lesley Martin has joined the NCYSU as the new head of the unit from the beginning of April. Lesley’s role will include the leadership and management of the NCYSU work program to ensure the unit fulfils its role in the provision of leadership and co-ordination across the broad spectrum of children and youth statistics. Lesley’s immediate focus over the coming months will be on leading the extensive consultation work with key stakeholders during the next phase of the NCYSU’s main project - the preparation of an Information Development Plan (IDP) for children and youth. See also Information Development Plan Update below.

PHOTO - the NCYSU team — David Povah, Shalini Bellas, Lesley Martin and Ellen Ceklic.

The NCYSU team - David Povah, Shalini Bellas, Lesley Martin and Ellen Ceklic.


The National Children and Youth Statistics Unit has completed three introductory Information Papers towards a children and youth Information Development Plan (IDP). While the publication of the IDP is the main output, these three papers cover different stages of the project. These are:

Information Paper: Key Issues Relating to Children and Youth (cat. no. 4908.0)
This paper discusses the key issues relating to children and youth and the policies that apply. For each key issue the main questions surrounding it are identified. Data sources applicable to each issue are mentioned with details given in an appendix.

Information Development Plan - Project Plan (cat. no. 4909.0)
This project plan outlines the work to be undertaken to produce the children and youth IDP and the rationale for it.

Information Paper: Field of Children and Youth Statistics (cat. no. 4910.0)
This paper covers the field of children and youth statistics and the key concepts and statistical tools that apply to it. Discussion includes frameworks, policies, key concepts such as age and development, dependency and childhood, social and legal responsibilities as well as children and youth in an international context.
For information on what an IDP is, see issue two of Children and Youth News.


The NCYSU is about to undertake the consultation phase of the children and youth Information Development Plan. Two rounds of consultation will be undertaken. The first found of consultation, commencing in May 2005, aims to produce a draft IDP and involves consultation with federal government departments, agencies and prominent research-based bodies to:
  • refine the key issues, information needs and associated data development needs in the field of children and youth;
  • identify potential data sources; and
  • identify stakeholders for data development responsibility.

The second round of consultation, occurring later in the year, will focus on the draft IDP and include a wider scope of stakeholders, including state/territory governments, selected non-government organisations and collaborative bodies.


Members of NCYSU recently attended a number of conferences. The ‘9th Annual Institute of Family Matters Conference’ held in Melbourne in February 2005 looked at current issues facing families including: risk factors for childhood injury, antisocial behaviour, competing demands of female workers and early childhood intervention. The conference featured the presentation and findings of AIFS’s own studies and also work from others. Papers presented at the conference can be found on the Australian Institute of Family Matters website.

‘An Update on Brain Development and the Early Years - Implications for Parents, Child Carers and Educators’ supported by NiFTeY and Ngala, was held in Perth in March 2005. Dr Fraser Mustard presented his research into the application of brain development knowledge to literacy and numeracy and the evaluation of programs and approaches that inform us on what parents, other carers and educators can do to enhance children’s developmental well-being. The slides of his presentation are available to download from the Founders Network website.