Child Indicators Research

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 33–55 | Cite as

From Rhetoric to Reality: Challenges in Using Data to Report on a National Set of Child Well–being Indicators

Article

Abstract

This paper highlights challenges arising in the compilation of Ireland’s first State of the Nations Children report (Office of the Minister for Children 2006). The Report—compiled by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in association with the Central Statistics Office, the Statistics Division of the Department of Health and Children, and the Health Promotion Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway—provides a description of the well–being of children and young people. It is based on the National Set of Child Well–Being Indicators developed in 2005 using a consensus approach involving multiple stakeholders, including children. Indicators included in the set relate to information about socio-demographics; children’s relationships; children’s health, educational, and social, emotional and behavioural outcomes; and formal and informal supports for children. Key challenges arising in reporting on these indicators include (1) issues relating to the availability of data; (2) variability in the quality of data available; (3) absence of harmonisation of demographic variables in respect of some data; and (4) issues arising in how the report should be compiled and presented. The paper concludes with a consideration of some of the key lessons learned in preparing this first Report.

Keywords

Child well–being Data Indicators Challenges Ireland 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of the Minister for Children and Youth AffairsDepartment of Health and Children, Hawkins HouseDublin 2Ireland

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