4907.0 - Information Paper: Improving Statistics on Children and Youth - An Information Development Plan, 2006  
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Contents >> Data development actions for agreed priority areas

This document was added 03/07/2007.

CHAPTER 4 DATA DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS FOR AGREED PRIORITY AREAS

Priority Area 1: Improve Data on Childhood and Maternal Health
Priority Area 2: Expand and Update Data on the Abuse and Neglect of Children
Priority Area 3: Improve Data on Children's Learning and Development
Priority Area 4: Improve Data on Youth Educational Attainment and Participation
Priority Area 5: Improve Data on the Transitions to Independent Living
Priority Area 6: Improve Data on the Social Participation of Youth
Priority Area 7: Improve Data about the Risk Behaviours of Youth
Priority Area 8: Develop and Promulgate the use of Standards and Concepts Relating to Children and Youth
Priority Area 9: Improve the range and quality of Data on Specific Target Populations of Children and Youth
Priority Area 10: Improve the range and quality of small area data available on Children and Youth

INTRODUCTION

Ten priority areas for data development relating to key and cross-cutting issues were outlined in Chapter 3. Each of these areas has a range of specific data development needs that users identified during consultation. The full list of needs for each priority area can be found in Appendix 2. It is not, however, feasible in this Plan to address all the data development needs identified for each priority area so an assessment of priorities within each area was required.


DEVELOPING PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

Assessment of the relative priority of data development needs was undertaken having regard to the views of key stakeholders, primarily expressed at a workshop conducted as part of the development of this Plan, and by giving consideration to the following criteria:

  • recognition of data development action/s already underway or planned which would address the need, either partially or completely;
  • a link between the need and policy;
  • high level of cross-agency interest in addressing the need; and
  • potential support and agency collaboration likely for any new data development action(s).

The following table presents, for each of the 10 priority areas, those needs assessed as having priority for development action, together with the relevant data development action/s addressing each need. The table is divided into three columns. The first column lists the data development needs relevant to the priority area. The second column identifies the agency, or agencies, which are taking a lead in progressing data development actions to address the need. The third column presents the data development action/s, either underway or planned, that will contribute to meeting some aspect of, or all of, the need.

Ten priority areas for data development relating to key and cross-cutting issues were outlined in Chapter 3. Each of these areas has a range of specific data development needs that users identified during consultation. The full list of needs for each priority area can be found in Appendix 2. It is not, however, feasible in this Plan to address all the data development needs identified for each priority area so an assessment of priorities within each area was required.


DEVELOPING PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

Assessment of the relative priority of data development needs was undertaken having regard to the views of key stakeholders, primarily expressed at a workshop conducted as part of the development of this Plan, and by giving consideration to the following criteria:
  • recognition of data development action/s already underway or planned which would address the need, either partially or completely;
  • a link between the need and policy;
  • high level of cross-agency interest in addressing the need; and
  • potential support and agency collaboration likely for any new data development action(s).


PRIORITY AREA 1: IMPROVE DATA ON CHILDHOOD AND MATERNAL HEALTH

Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
Develop data on maternal risk factorsFaCSIA and AIFSThe LSAC will provide data on how child outcomes are affected by the family's socio-economic environment. Data on parent's labour force participation, educational attainment, psychological capital, stress and mental health will be collected along with data on the quality of the couple's relationship.
ABSThe ABS proposes to explore the capacity of recent and upcoming surveys to support analysis of the characteristics of mothers of young children, including their current health status and risk factor behaviours. Potential data sources include the 2003 Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers, the 2004/05 National Health Survey, the planned 2007 Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. The results of this analysis may inform the development of future surveys, including the 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.
ABSThe ABS will explore the suitability of ABS collections to support the understanding of maternal health risk factors, particularly during pregnancy, and the relationship to health outcomes for babies born.
Update and expand data on children's nutritionDoHAThe National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey will collect detailed information about food and nutrient intakes, as well as physical measurements of height and weight for children aged 2 to 16 years. It is also intended that the survey will provide data comparable with earlier nutrition surveys conducted in 1985 and 1995. The proposed enumeration for the survey is early 2007. Preliminary results will be available in late 2007.
FaCSIA and AIFSThe LSAC will provide longitudinal data on children's eating habits, as well as measuring height, weight and girth.
Update and expand data on children's mental health and social/emotional developmentFaCSIA and AIFS

The LSAC will provide longitudinal data on children's cognitive, social and emotional development. Data on the family and social environment will also be collected which has the potential to identify risk and protective factors related to social and emotional development, as well as mental health.
FaCSIA, CCCH and ICHRThe AEDI collects data on young children's development including: physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills; and communication skills and general knowledge. Data are collected during the first year of formal schooling. Over three years (2004-2007), 61 communities from around Australia are expected to implement the AEDI. Results are available from the AEDI website
(www.australianedi.org.au).
ABSThe ABS will draw to the attention of relevant policy and jurisdictional forums the need for improved information in an effort to gain support for appropriate data development action.
ABSThe ABS will undertake ongoing work in collaboration with relevant information development committees to determine the appropriate strategies for collection of data on children's mental health.
Develop data on measures of children's physical activityDoHAThe National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey will collect detailed information about physical activity levels for children aged 2 to 16 years. The proposed enumeration for the survey is early 2007. Preliminary results will be available in late 2007.
FaCSIA and AIFSThe LSAC will provide data detailing children's time-use patterns, including the use of their time for activities such as outdoor activities, unstructured play, watching television and reading. Such data will allow for the identification of time spent undertaking both physical and passive activities.
    PRIORITY AREA 2: EXPAND AND UPDATE DATA ON THE ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF CHILDREN

    Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
    Improve and expand data on the incidence and prevalence of abuse and neglect of childrenAIHW and NCPaSS




    The Child Protection and Support Services National Minimum Data Set will contain a statistical linkage key to the unit record collection. This will enable a child's movement in the child protection system to be analysed across jurisdictions and over time. It would also enable more comprehensive research into outcomes for young people through linkage with other data collections (such as the Juvenile Justice NMDS and the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program National Data Collection).
    NAPCANThe National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect is proposing a study to measure the incidence and prevalence (both reported and unreported) of child abuse and neglect in Australia. The study would begin in 2008. A source of funding is being sought and partnerships will be considered.
    ABSThe 2005 Personal Safety Survey collected limited data (from those aged 18 years and over) on experience of physical and sexual abuse as a child. This survey updated and extended the Women's Safety Survey (1996), which only surveyed women. Data were released in August 2006 and are available on the ABS website. Options for future surveys in this field are being considered as part of the ABS current review of its household survey program. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.38 action 7.1c.
    ABSThe ABS will establish a group to explore how data might be generated on abuse and neglect and determine what indicators are amenable to collection via various vehicles (including surveys).
    Develop data on outcomes for children who have experienced abuse and neglectAIHW and NCPaSSThe Child Protection and Support Services National Minimum Data Set will contain a statistical linkage key to the unit record collection which will enable a child's movements in the child protection system to be analysed across jurisdictions and over time.
    Expand domestic/family violence data to include children


    ABS and the Police Statisticians Group
    Improvements to the quality of the Relationship of Offender to Victim indicator are proposed to enable better reporting of domestic/family violence events and support improved identification of parent/child violence. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.38 action 7.1b.
    ABSA feasibility study is being conducted to identify what indicators of domestic/family violence are currently collected by police and how these could be integrated into collection systems throughout the crime and justice sectors. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.38 action 7.1a.
    ABSA domestic violence data working group has been formed to consider issues and develop proposals concerning:
    • a framework for domestic/family violence
    • definitions relating to family and domestic violence
    • scope of family violence statistical requirements
    • measurement issues
    • data sources.

    Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.38 action 7.2a.

    PRIORITY AREA 3: IMPROVE DATA ON CHILDREN'S LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

    Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
    Improve data on early childhood learning, development and outcomesFaCSIA and AIFS


    The LSAC will provide data on children's participation in early childhood education, including educational activities in the home. Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004
    (cat. no. 4231.0) p.29.
    FaCSIA, CCCH and ICHRThe AEDI collects data on young children's development including: physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills; and communication skills and general knowledge. Data are collected during the first year of formal schooling. Over three years (2004-2007), 61 communities from around Australia are expected to implement the AEDI. Results are available from the AEDI website
    (www.australianedi.org.au).
    ABSThe ABS' National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (NCETS) is undertaking a project to improve the collection, sourcing and reporting of childhood learning data. The NCETS will seek to consolidate and improve the quality and coverage of information on early childhood learning, along with assessing the capacity of survey and administrative collections to address data gaps, information needs and data linkage opportunities. Other development activities in the area will be considered in this project.
    ABSAn Early Years Learning Survey is planned for 2008. The survey will measure formal, non-formal and informal learning and development issues in the early years. The age scope and data content for this collection are yet to be clarified. Data content will draw from research into other survey findings.
    Develop data on the supply of early childhood servicesAIHWAn assessment of the implementation options for the Children's Services National Minimum Data Set is currently underway. This dataset will provide nationally comparable data on children who access child care and preschool services, and the child care workforce in these services. The service based administrative collection includes all child care and preschool services that are funded and/or licensed by the Australian or state/territory governments and excludes services that are funded entirely by the private sector and/or local government, as well as child care services which require the attendance of the parent/guardian with the child (e.g. playgroups). Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (cat. no. 4231.0) p.29.
    Develop data on parent's involvement in child learning and developmentFaCSIA and AIFS
    The LSAC will provide longitudinal data on parents' involvement in child learning and development.
    ABSThe 2006 Time Use Survey will provide data on the time parents spend with their children (including time spent on specific activities such as playing with, reading to, teaching and reprimanding their children). Results from the 2006 survey are expected to be released in August 2007.
    Develop measures of children's education attendance and non-attendanceMCEETYAThe Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs’ Performance Measurement and Reporting Taskforce (MCEETYA PMRT) has reviewed current student attendance data and further development of nationally consistent attendance measures is now being considered.
    Develop data on children’s transition from primary to secondary schoolABSThe NCETS will initiate discussions with relevant interested agencies to investigate what and how data might be collected for this need.

    PRIORITY AREA 4: IMPROVE DATA ON YOUTH EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT AND PARTICIPATION

    Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
    Improve vocational and technical education participation and outcomes dataDEST and NCVER





    Mapping the Future: A Forward Plan for Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics 2004–2010 is a report outlining three areas of change for the National VTE statistics program, along with 23 proposals for collections and surveys managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. These three areas aim to bring about an extended scope of the information base to include nationally recognised training; linkage between data sets; and widened access and use of VTE statistics. The Plan will be reviewed in early 2007.
    MCEETYA and NCVERThe MCEETYA has agreed to a series of recommendations that will bring about improved systems to manage the data collection process and a new collection from 2005, which will align with the Australian VET Management Information Statistical Standard. It is expected that, from 2005, the National Report on Schooling in Australia will report against agreed key performance measures for VET in schools.
    ABSWith the release of data from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, progressively scheduled from July 2007, the ABS will undertake relevant analytic studies aimed at updating and expanding the range of analysis available to inform this information need.
    Develop data on young people's education, education outcomes and career choices


    DEST and ABS



    The 2006 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey will collect data on literacy and its relationship to education attainment, participation in formal, non-formal and in-formal learning, reasons for participation, non-completion of qualifications, labour force participation and barriers to education and training. The survey will cover persons aged 15–74 in all states and territories. Results from the survey are expected to be released in October 2007.
    DEST and ACERThe LSAY track the progress of several groups of young Australians as they move from school into post-secondary education and the labour market. Data are available on school achievement, school completion and participation in further education, including vocational and university education. Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (cat. no. 4231.0) p.25.
    DESTThe DEST is preparing to collect a range of new data related to Structured Workplace Learning, provision of careers advice to students and general provision of careers advice from industry to students from 2006, as part of the monitoring of the Career Advice Australia initiative.
    MCEETYA and ABSAttainment Indicators have been introduced to the National Report on Schooling in Australia, as well as the Report on Government Services. These measures are to be reported at the national level each year compared to the previous year and at the state/territory level for each year compared to the five years previous.
    MCEETYA and ABSThe Data Collection and Reporting Sub-group of the MCEETYA's PMRT is currently developing a common data set (including data items and definitions) for post-school destination surveys. Currently three States (Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria) conduct post-school destination surveys and the Northern Territory is aiming to introduce one in 2007.
    Improve measures of education
    participation of young people
    DEST






    A pilot collection of enrolment data from non-government funded higher education institutions was undertaken in 2004, with a view to full introduction of the collection in the future. The DEST is considering options for the future collection of this data. This will improve data on participation in higher education, through the inclusion of those studying at non-government higher education institutions. Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (cat. no. 4231.0) p.27.
    MCEETYA and ABSCurrently, only school participation rates for full-time students are produced in the National Schools Statistics Collection. Initiatives are underway to obtain ages for part-time students which would enable participation rates for all students to be derived. It is expected that rates for part-time students and all students will be available in 2007.
    ABSThe Adult Learning Survey, 2006–07 will measure data on participation in all types of learning. It will be designed to provide data in line with the international requirements of the Adult Education Survey, and will focus on those who have completed their initial education. Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (cat. no. 4231.0) p.26.
    ABSThe NCETS has undertaken research to compile indicators on participation, pathways and outcomes in education and training for Australians. Extensive consultation, research and assessment of appropriate measures and indicators were undertaken to arrive at the final lists of measures. The main output from these projects are suites of policy relevant measures that can be used for comparable reporting between states and territories and over time. It is envisaged that the indicators will be updated and revised on a regular basis as key tools to assist research, analysis and discussion among education and training researchers and policy makers. An ABS information paper presenting the findings of the research is planned for late 2006.
    ABSWith the release of data from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, progressively scheduled from July 2007, the ABS will undertake relevant analytic studies aimed at updating and expanding the range of analysis available to inform this information need.
      PRIORITY AREA 5: IMPROVE DATA ON THE TRANSITIONS TO INDEPENDENT LIVING

      Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
      Improve data on educational and
      employment pathways
      NCVER


      Data on the education and employment outcomes of VTE students has been collected through the 2004 Down the Track Survey. The scope of the survey includes 15–24 year old TAFE graduates and module completers who completed the 2002 Student Outcomes Survey. Results are published in Down the Track: TAFE outcomes for people two years on.
      NCVERAnalytical and data collection project entitled Stepping Stones? Learning pathways within and beyond VTE for young people will examine patterns of pathways between and within VTE and Higher Education. The project was conducted in 2004 and results are expected to be released in 2006.
      MCEETYAThe Data Collection and Reporting Sub-group, which reports to the MCEETYA's PMRT, is currently progressing work towards developing a common data set (including data items and definitions) for post-school destination surveys. Currently three States (Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria) conduct post-school destination surveys and the Northern Territory is aiming to introduce one in 2007.
      ABSWith the release of data from the 2006 Census, progressively scheduled from July 2007, the ABS will undertake relevant analytic studies, including cohort analysis, aimed at improving the range of analysis available to inform this information need.
      Improve the use of administrative data to understand youth transitions to independent livingFaCSIA The Trans-generational Dataset, based on Centrelink income support data, will be used to improve the understanding of youth transitions to independence. The dataset contains key demographic characteristics and income support history of a selected cohort of young persons and their parents/carers. This administrative dataset will be linked to the information collected in the Youth in Focus panel survey (refer below).
      Data on social aspects of the transition to adulthoodFaCSIA and Australian National University





      The Youth in Focus panel survey will track a cohort of young persons aged 18 years (in 2006) identified in Centrelink administrative data. The cohort will be surveyed in three waves (beginning 2006) on a wide range of topics including family environment, education and work experiences, as well as values and attitudes. The survey data will be linked to Centrelink administrative data on income support of both the young person and their parent/carer (known as the Trans-generational Dataset) to identify patterns and causal mechanisms of inter-generational transmission of disadvantage
      ABSData on young people living in the parental home will be collected in the Family Transitions and History Survey. Data items for people aged 18-34 years include: whether has left home; number of times left home; age when first left home; age when first returned home; living arrangements when first left home; main reason left home the first time; main reason returned home the last time; main reason has not left home. The survey is being conducted in 2006-07 with data expected to be released in mid-2008.
      PRIORITY AREA 6: IMPROVE DATA ON THE SOCIAL PARTICIPATION OF YOUTH

      Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
      Develop measures of youth social participation and measures of social cohesionABS




      The 2006 General Social Survey will collect data on family relationships, friendships, support networks, engagement with the community, personal safety and security, cultural and recreational activities for those aged 18 and over. Data on socio-demographic status will also be collected, allowing the relationship between socio-economic status and social participation to be explored. Results from the 2006 survey are expected to be released in February 2007.
      ABSThe 2006 Survey of Voluntary Work will collect data on rates of participation in voluntary work, characteristics of people who volunteer, the types of organisations they work for, and the activities they undertake for those aged 18 and over. Results are expected to be released in February 2007.
        PRIORITY AREA 7: IMPROVE DATA ABOUT THE RISK BEHAVIOURS OF YOUTH

        Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
        Improve data on youth contact with the justice systemAIHW






        The Juvenile Justice National Minimum Dataset is a new data collection that provides information about young people who are being supervised by juvenile justice departments in Australia. The scope of the data set covers pre-sentence and sentenced supervision both within the community and in detention. The first report published in February 2006 covers the years 2000–01 to 2003–04. The next publication with 2004–05 data is currently scheduled for release in 2007. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.37 action 6.1a.
        ABSThe ABS’ National Criminal Courts Statistics Unit has developed a framework to expand the national criminal courts collection to include Children's Courts (ages 10–19 years). Experimental data for six states and territories was published in the 2004–05 issue of Criminal Courts, Australia. Further significant development is planned and will supply more detailed data items. In addition the National Criminal Courts Data Dictionary (first released in October 2005) will be expanded to include meta data relating to Children's Criminal Courts. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.37 action 6.1c.
        ABSThe ABS’ National Crime Statistics Unit is developing offender based statistics that will include data on juveniles who come to the attention of police. The collection is based on all alleged person offenders initially proceeded against where an alleged offender is aged 10 years and over. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.37 action 6.1b.
        Improve data on young persons injuryAIHW and the Strategic Injury Prevention Partnership


        The Strategic Injury Prevention Partnership is interested in using the state and territory computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) health surveys to collect injury data. The AIHW's National Injury Surveillance Unit has proposed a set of about 20 questions for a CATI injury module. Both groups are working with the CATI Technical Reference Group, through the Injury Prevention Population Surveys Interest Group, to develop an agreed set of standards for use with CATI health surveys.
        Australian Population Health Development Principal CommitteeThe National Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Plan 2004–2014 describes existing data sources for monitoring injury. It discusses actions to develop and improve data sources and surveillance techniques to support more effective injury control. A priority action of the Plan relevant to data on young people is to advocate for longitudinal research to examine the interplay of risk factors that place young people, particularly young males, at elevated risk of serious injury.
        Update and expand data on youth mental healthABS



        The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing will provide data on mental health including the prevalence of selected mental disorders, the level of disability associated with each, the use of health services, and level of help needed as a result of a mental health problem. The scope of this survey has been expanded to include young people aged 16–17 years. Results will be available in late 2008.
        ABSOngoing work will occur in collaboration with relevant information development committees to determine the appropriate strategies for collection of data on young people's mental health.
        Improve data on multiple risk factorsDoHA







        The National Co-morbidity Initiative aims to improve data systems and collection methods within the mental health, alcohol and other drug sectors to manage co-morbidity more effectively. The AIHW has prepared a commissioned report on the current state of data collections relating to people with co-existing substance use and mental health disorders. This report makes recommendations on improving the availability and usefulness of data for this population group. DoHA will identify opportunities to implement the report’s recommendations in consultation with other jurisdictions, through the implementation of the National Co-morbidity Initiative.
        DoHAA National Data Analysis project will be developed as part of the National Drug Strategy 2004–09 to ensure that information is collected, reported and used appropriately to inform strategic policy development. A monitoring and evaluation framework for the Strategy will also be developed.
        Improve data on youth nutritionDoHAThe 2007 National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey will collect detailed information about food and nutrient intakes, as well as physical measurements of height and weight among adolescents (up to 16 years old). It is also intended that the survey will provide data comparable with earlier nutrition surveys conducted in 1985 and 1995. The proposed enumeration for the survey is early 2007. Preliminary results will be available in late 2007.
        Improve measures of physical activity for youthDoHA

        The 2007 National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey will collect detailed information about physical activity levels among adolescents (up to age 17 years). The proposed enumeration for the survey is early 2007. Preliminary results will be available in late 2007.
        ABSThe 2005–06 ABS Multi-Purpose Household Survey is collecting data on sport and recreational physical activities. The scope of the survey has been extended to cover those 15 and over, allowing data to be collected on 15–17 year olds for the first time. Results are expected to be available in February 2007.

          PRIORITY AREA 8: DEVELOP AND PROMULGATE THE USE OF STANDARDS AND CONCEPTS RELATING TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH
          Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
          Develop and promulgate the use of standards and concepts relating to children and young peopleAIHW









          An assessment of the implementation options for the Children's Services National Minimum Dataset is currently underway. This dataset will provide nationally comparable data on children who access child care and preschool services, and the child care workforce in these services. The service based administrative collection includes all child care and preschool services that are funded and/or licensed by the Australian or state and territory governments and excludes services that are funded entirely by the private sector and/or local government, as well as child care services which require the attendance of the parent/ guardian with the child (e.g. playgroups). Also refer to Information paper: Measuring Learning in Australia: Plan to Improve the Quality, Coverage and Use of Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (cat. no. 4231.0) p.29.
          AIHWThe Juvenile Justice National Minimum Dataset is a new data collection that provides information about young people who are being supervised by juvenile justice departments in Australia. The scope of the data set covers pre-sentence and sentenced supervision both within the community and in detention. The first report published in February 2006 covers the years 2000–01 to 2003–04. The next publication with 2004–05 data is currently scheduled for release in 2007. Also refer to Information paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (cat. no. 4520.0) p.38 action 6.1a.
          AIHW and NCPaSSThe AIHW and the National Child Protection and Support Services data group is undertaking work to develop a Child Protection and Support Services National Minimum Dataset. This dataset will broaden the scope of the national data collection on child protection and improve comparability across jurisdictions. This work includes the development of data dictionaries and a move towards the provision of data in unit record format. These actions will support improvements to data on the incidence of child abuse and neglect.
          ABSThe ABS has commenced work on the development of an agreed framework to support the further development of family statistics. This framework will draw attention to the importance of measuring aspects of family structures, family transitions and family functioning, as key elements of family wellbeing.
          ABSThe first version of the National Criminal Courts Data Dictionary was released in October 2005. It is a reference document which defines national data items and outlines methods for the use of 27 data elements and concepts that underpin the ABS’ and Council of Australian Governments (COAG) criminal courts collections. It is intended that through website dissemination the data dictionary will be available as a resource to agencies who are seeking to align their statistical output with the ABS and COAG criminal court collections. Future versions are expected to include meta data relating to Children's Criminal Courts. The Dictionary is available on the NSS website (www.nss.gov.au).

            PRIORITY AREA 9: IMPROVE THE RANGE AND QUALITY OF DATA ON SPECIFIC TARGET POPULATIONS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH

            Data development needLead agenciesData development actions
            Indigenous children and youthFaCSIA





            The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous children (Footprints in Time) is under development. The study would collect data from the families of babies and four year olds about their child's health, education, family functioning, childcare and culture with the aim of understanding the pathways children take as they grow. Strategies to collect quantitative data and qualitative data are currently being pilot tested. These results will be used to inform a proposal for how to implement the study for consideration by the Australian Government.
            ICHRThe Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey is a survey of Indigenous children under the age of 18 years in Western Australia. To date, data and analysis have been released on family, community and education, as well as social, emotional and physical wellbeing. Forthcoming are data and analysis on justice. For many of these areas data are cross-classified by levels of geographical isolation, also adding to the range of small area data on Indigenous children in WA.
            AIHWThrough an annual systemic review of Indigenous identification in AIHW held administrative data collections, the AIHW is continuously working with relevant data custodians and working groups (in the different jurisdictions) to improve the quality of Indigenous data, including child protection data and juvenile justice data. As part of reporting, the data custodians are required to report on efforts to improve the quality of Indigenous identification in their data sets including an assessment of the quality of their data.
            ABS and AIHWThe ABS and AIHW have taken steps to improve the quality of Indigenous data in administrative collections. This work has supported and promoted the implementation of standard question wording in relevant collections, both ABS and non-ABS. Improvements to data sources are occurring as this work progresses.
            ABSThrough improvements to enumeration strategies and the introduction of mesh blocks as the new spatial unit, the 2006 Census of Population and Housing will allow for improved estimates of Indigenous children and youth. Results are expected to be released from the second half of 2007.
            ABSAs part of its survey evaluation and development process for the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, the ABS is assessing future data requirements. The possible inclusion of information on children under 15 years of age will be considered as part of that process.
            Children and youth with a disability
            ABS


            The next Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers is planned for 2009. This survey will collect data on children and young people with a disability. There is potential to collect new data on children and young people with a disability, through a review of the survey, involving stakeholder consultation, to be conducted in 2007–08.
            ABSThe 2006 Census of Population and Housing incorporates a new disability related question module on ‘core activity need for assistance’. Estimates of children with a core activity need for assistance, based upon this new question set, will be available for smaller areas than those from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers and will be relatable to those children with a core activity limitation in the survey. In addition, data on need for assistance can be analysed alongside socio-economic data. Results from the 2006 Census will be available from the second half of 2007.
            ABSThe 2007/08 National Health Survey will include a short question module on disability. This will provide data on youth aged 16 and above to better understand the relationship between disability and health.
            Socio-economically disadvantaged children and youth




            NATSEM






            The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has developed a child-centred form of a socio-economic index for areas, applicable at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level. The index shows areas where disadvantaged children are living in Australia, and provides information about the family characteristics of children living within each SLA (e.g. percentage living in a family where no parent has a job or a post-school qualification). In 2007 the work will be extended to calculate an index for 1986, 1991, and 1996, subject to Census data availability extended to include previous years.
            ABSThrough a regular review of its Household Survey Program, the ABS will consider this priority need and options for future survey programs, including the General Social Survey, the Multi-purpose Household Surveys and the proposed Families Survey.
            ABSThrough the introduction of mesh blocks as the new spatial unit, the 2006 Census of Population and Housing will have the capacity to provide improved estimates of socio-economically disadvantaged children and youth. Results are expected to be released from the second half of 2007.
            Culturally and Linguistically Diverse children and youthDepartment of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and ABSThe ABS and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs are undertaking a joint project to investigate the settlement outcomes of migrants (including children and young people) in the Humanitarian Settlement stream.
            ABS
            The ABS' National Migrant Statistics Unit is investigating the development of a new survey on migrants which could have the potential to provide new data on the characteristics of migrants, including their children.
            ABSThrough the introduction of mesh blocks as the new spatial unit, the 2006 Census of Population and Housing will have the capacity to provide improved estimates of culturally and linguistically diverse children and youth. Results are expected to be released from the second half of 2007.

            PRIORITY AREA 10: IMPROVE THE RANGE AND QUALITY OF SMALL AREA DATA AVAILABLE ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH

            Data Development NeedLead agenciesData development actions
            Improved data on children and youth living at a range of spatial levels, from state/territory to community levelABS




            Mesh blocks are a new spatial unit for releasing census, survey and administrative data. They contain around 30–60 dwellings and can be aggregated to many different levels of geographic boundaries. From the 2006 Census of Population and Housing onwards, this will allow for greater flexibility in the output of small area census data relating to children and youth, including output compiled according to various administrative boundaries and, potentially, community level data.
            ABSIn 2006 the ABS released a Small Area Estimation Practice Manual. This is a guide to the production, use, quality and validation of small area estimates derived from sample surveys. Small area estimation methodology might be applied to surveys relating to children and youth. The ABS can advise on the feasibility of producing sufficiently reliable estimates (for user’s requirements).
            ABSA geocoding project is being undertaken in 2006–07 for Statistical Information Management Committee. This project will assess the state of readiness of jurisdictions to undertake geocoding to provide a foundation for statistical information on the geographical pattern of health service usage and related matters. The data sources covered by this project would generally contain details of the age of the service recipient.
            DEWR, Centrelink and Medicare AustraliaA range of government agencies are intending to implement mesh block coding to their administrative datasets. When complete, this will facilitate dissemination of statistical outputs from these datasets at sub-state levels and for customised regions, such as service delivery areas and school communities.

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