Data-Based Child Advocacy

Abstract

There has been a clear upward trajectory in child advocacy activity over the past century, and today dozens of groups are working to improve the lives of children around the world. Within the broad field of child advocacy, a subset of advocates have emerged who focus on the use of data to promote better lives for children. Over the past 20 years, there has been an enormous increase in the development and use of child indicators. The child indicator movement has been fostered and enhanced by work in many sectors including philanthropy, government, civil society, nonprofit organizations, and academia. Moreover, the development has been driven by a mix of scholars, scientists, researchers, policymakers, journalists, advocates, and practitioners. This mix of providers and users and the breadth of organizations involved often means that child well-being data are employed in ways that go beyond what is typically considered scholarly activity. Despite widespread use of child indicator data outside of academia, little has been written about the use of child indicators in advocacy activities. This article identifies and explores five types of circumstances where child indicators are used in an advocacy context. These include:
  1. 1.

    Raising public awareness

     
  2. 2.

    Making data on children easily available

     
  3. 3.

    Advocating for more and better data on children

     
  4. 4.

    Goal setting and monitoring child well-being

     
  5. 5.

    Evaluating programs and policies

     

In addition to discussing each of the types of data-based child advocacy noted above, some of the key distinctions between use of child indicators in scholarly work and in advocacy work are discussed.

Keywords

Child Indicator Child Poverty Rate Casey Foundation Child Advocacy Child Advocate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adema, W., del Carmen Huerta, M., Panzera, A., Thevenon, O., & Pearson, M. (2009). The OECD family database: Developing a cross-national tool for assessing family policies and outcomes. Child Indicator Research, 2(4), 437–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, B. (2008). Foreword in state of the nations children: Ireland 2008 (p. 3). Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children and Youth.Google Scholar
  3. Annie E. The Casey Foundation. (2003). Data-based advocacy. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
  4. Belsky, J., et al. (2006). Effects of sure start local programmes on children and families: Early findings from a quasi-experimental cross sectional study. British Medical Journal, 332, 1476–1482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ben-Arieh, A. (2008). The child indicators movement: Past, present, and future. Child Indicators Research, 1(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ben-Arieh, A., & Frones, I. (2007). Indicators of children’s well-being: What should be measured and why? Social Indicators Research, 84, 249–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Arieh, A., & Frones, I. (Eds.) (2009). Indicators of children’s well-being: Theory and practice in a multi-cultural perspective. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Ben-Arieh, A., & Goerge, R. M. (Eds.) (2006a). Indicators of children’s well-being. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Ben-Arieh, A., & Goerge, R. M. (2006b). Measuring and monitoring children’s well-being: The policy process. In Indicators of children’s well-being: Understanding their role, usage, and policy influence (Social indicator research series, Vol. 27, pp. 21–30). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ben-Arieh, A., Kaufman, N. H., Andrews, A. B., Goerge, R. M., Lee, B. J., & Aber, J. L. (2001). Measuring and monitoring children’s well-being. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benjamin, D. (2009). Framing in the field: A case study. New directions for youth development, 124, Wiley Interscience, 91–96.Google Scholar
  12. Bernal, R. (2008). The effect of maternal employment and child care on child cognitive development. International Economic Review, 49(4), 1173–1209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bradshaw, J., & Richardson, D. (2009). An index of child well-being in Europe. Child Indicators Research, 2(3), 319–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brim, O. G. (1975a). Macro-structural influences on child development and the need for childhood social indicators. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45(4), 516XX–524XX.Google Scholar
  15. Brim, O. G. (1975b). Childhood social indicators: Monitoring the ecology of development. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 119(6), 119XX–125XX.Google Scholar
  16. Brown, B., & Botsko, C. (1998). A guide to states and local-level indicators of childwell-being available through the federal statistical system. Report prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  17. Brown, B., & Corbett, T. (1997). Social indicators and public policy in the age of devolution. Special Report 71. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  18. Brown, B., & Moore, K. A. (2007). An overview of state-level data on child well-being available through the federal statistical system. Washington, DC: Child Trends Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Brown, B., Smith, B., & Harper, M. (2002). International surveys of child and family well-being: An overview. Washington, DC: Child Trends.Google Scholar
  20. Carrasco, S., Villa, R., Ponferrada, M., & Casanas, E. (2011). Child participation: A model for child advocacy. Paper presented at the 3rd ISCI conference, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Center for Education Policy. (2011). State test score trends through 2008–09: Progress lags in high school, especially for advanced achievers. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.Google Scholar
  22. Children’s Institute. (2012). South African Child Gauge Report. University of Cape Town, South Africa. Available online at www.ci.org.za/site/includes/content/general/gauge2007.html.
  23. Child Trends. (2011). Handout at the October 17, 2011. Meeting of the federal interagency forum on child and family statistics meeting, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  24. Child Trends. (2008). A guide to resources for creating, locating, and using child and youth indicator data. Washington, DC: Child Trends. Available online at http://www.childtrends.org/files/child_trends-2009_01_05_FR_childindicatorguide.pdf.
  25. Child Trends. (undated). Youth outcomes compendium. http://www.childtrends.org/what_works/clarkwww/compendium_intro.asp.
  26. Cohen, P. N. (1998). State policies, spending, and kids count indicators of child well-being. Unpublished paper by the population reference bureau, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  27. Cohen, P. N. (1998). Kids count recount: An alternative state performance measure for child well-being. Paper delivered at the 19978 Population Association of American Conference.Google Scholar
  28. Corbett, T. J. (2008). Social indicators as a policy tool: Welfare reform as a case study. In B. V. Brown (Ed.), Key indicators of child and youth well-being: Completing the picture. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Coulton, C. J. (2008). Catalog of administrative data sources for neighborhood indicators. A National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership Guide. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  30. Dalrymple, J. (2005). Construction of child and youth advocacy: Emergin issue in advocacy practice. Children & Society, 19(1), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Eurochild. (2009, November). Eurochild policy briefing: Indicators: An important tool for advancing child well-being, No. 05, p. 1.Google Scholar
  32. Every Child Matters Education Fund. (2008). Geography matters: Child well-being in the states. Washington, DC: Every Child Matters Fund.Google Scholar
  33. Foundation for Child Development. (2010). 2010 child and youth well-being index (CWI). New York: Foundation for Child Development. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from http://www.fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/FINAL%202010%20CWI%20Annual%20Release.pdf.
  34. Guzman, L., Lippman, L., Moore, K. A., & O’Hare, W. P. (2009). Accentuating the negative: The mismatch between public perception of child well-being and official statistics. Child Indicator Research, 2(4), 391–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Haaga, J. (2003, May). Why didn’t you write what i thought i said? Paper delivered at the Population Association of America Conference.Google Scholar
  36. Hanafin, S., & Brooks, A. M. (2009). From rhetoric to reality: Challenges in using data to report on a national set of child well-being indicators. Child Indicator Research, 2(1), 33–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Harknett, K., Garfinkel, I., Bainbridge, J., Smeeding, T., Folbre, N., & McLanahan, S. (2003). Do public expenditures improve child outcomes in the U. S.: A comparison across the fifty states. Princeton: Center for research on Child well-Being, Princeton University. (Working paper #03-02)Google Scholar
  38. Hauser, R. M., Brown, B., & Prosser, W. (Eds.) (1997). Indicators of children’s well-being. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Hood, S. (2006). Reporting on children’s well-being: The State of London’s children reports. Social Indicator Research, 80, 249–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. International Society for Child Indicators. (2009, May). Recent conferences: NGOs gather at Landmark Mexico Gathering. ISCI Newsletter, p. 3.Google Scholar
  41. ISCI Newsletter. (2010, June) Child indicators work on the rise in Latin America, p. 2. For more information see http://infancialatinacuenta.org/
  42. Israel National Council for the Child Report. (2007). The state of the child in Israel 2007: A statistical abstract. http://www.children.org.il/pro_articles_list_eng.asp?ProjectID=35.
  43. Jack, S., & Tonmyr, L. (2008). Knowledge transfer and exchange: Disseminating Canadian child maltreatment surveillance findings to decision maker. Child Indicators Research, 1(1), 51–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Knitzer, J. (1976). Child advocacy: A perspective. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 46(2), 200–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kunkel, D., Smith, S., Suding, P., & Biely, E. (2002). Coverage in context: How thoroughly the news media report five key children’s issues. Study Commissioned by the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families, Philip Merrill College of Journalism. College Park, MD: University of Maryland.Google Scholar
  46. Lamb, V., & O’Hare, W. P. (forthcoming). Scalability of the CWI: State-level indicators and composite indices chapter 7. In Kenneth C. Land (Ed.), The well-being of America’s children: Developing and improving the child and youth well-being index. Google Scholar
  47. Land, K. C., Lamb, V. L., & Mustillo, S. K. (2001). Child and youth well-being in the United States, 1975–1998: Some findings from a new index. Social Indicators Research, 56, 241–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Leibovitz, H. (2007). Dissemination lessons learned (Assessing the new federalism). Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  49. Li, J. (2011, July 27–30). Child indicators: Lost in translation. Presentation at the 2011 International Society for Child Indicators Conference, York, England.Google Scholar
  50. Lippman, L. (2005). Indicators and indices of child well-being: A brief history. KIDS COUNT Working Paper. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={74238176-1D59-4043-AA9A-E9FFC72CCC2C}.Google Scholar
  51. McCroskey, J. (2008). Using child and family indicators to influence communities and policy in Los Angeles county. In A. Ben-Arieh & I. Frones (Eds.), Indicators of children’s well-being: Theory and practice in a multi-cultural perspective (pp. 501–548). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. McNutt, J. G. (2007). Adoption of new wave electronic advocacy techniques by nonprofit child advocacy organizations. In M. Cortes & K. Rafter (Eds.), Nonprofits and technology: Emerging research for usable knowledge. Chicago: Lyceum Books.Google Scholar
  53. Mekonen, Y. (2010). Measuring government performance in realizing child rights and child well-being: The approach and the indicators. Child Indicators Research, 3(2), 205–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Moore, K. A., & Brown, B. V. (2006). Preparing indicators for policymakers and advocates. In A. Ben-Arieh & R. M. Goerge (Eds.), Indicators of Children’s well-being: Understanding their role, usage, and policy influence (p. 93). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. Moore, K. A., Brown, B. V., & Scarupa, H. J. (2003). The uses (and misuses) of social indicators: Implications for public policy (Child Trends Research Brief, #2003–01). Washington, DC: Child Trends.Google Scholar
  56. Naar-King, S., Ellis, D. A., & Frey, M. A. (2004). Assessing children’s well-being: A hand book of measures. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  57. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2011). Handout at the October 17, 2011. Meeting of the federal interagency forum on child and family statistics meeting.Google Scholar
  58. O’Hare, W. P. (2007a, January 7–9). Data-based child advocacy: Using demographic indicators to increase public awareness of child well-being in the United States. Paper presented at the applied demography conference, San Antonio.Google Scholar
  59. O’Hare, W. P. (2008). Measuring the impact of child indicators. Child Indicator Research, 1(4), 387–396. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. O’Hare, W. P. (2009a, November). Some thoughts after 20 years of producing an annual data book on children. Paper presented at the ISCI conference in Sydney Australia.Google Scholar
  61. O’Hare, W. P. (2009b, October). The role of philanthropy in indicators development and use. Paper presented at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conference in Busan, South Korea.Google Scholar
  62. O’Hare, W. P. (2012). Development of the child indicator movement in the United States. Child Development Perspectives, 6(1), 79–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. O’Hare, W. P, & Lee, M. (2007). Factors affecting state differences in child well-being. KIDS COUNT working paper, Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation. www.kidscount.org.
  64. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2009). Doing better for children, chapter 2, comparative child well-being across the organization for economic cooperation and development. Paris: OECD, p. 22.Google Scholar
  65. Portwood, S. G. J., Shears, K., Eichelberer, C. N., & Abrams, L. P. (2010). An institute for social capital: Enhancing community capacity through datasharing. Child Indicators Research, 3(2), 261–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Price, M. (2009). From Foreward to South African Child Gauge Report: University of Cape Town, South Africa. Available online at www.ci.org.za/site/includes/content/general/gauge2007.html
  67. Rasmusson, B. (2009). Children’s advocacy centres in Sweden, experiences of children. Presentation at the 2nd ISCI conference, Sydney.Google Scholar
  68. Rasmusson, B. (2011). Children’s advocacy centers (Barnahus) in Sweden. Child Indicators Research, 4(2), 301–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Red Por Los Derechos de la Infancia. (2011). La Infancia Cuenta. online at www.infanciacuenta.org.
  70. Ritualo, A., & O’Hare, W. P. (2000, October). Factors related to state differences in child well-being. Paper presented at the Southern Demographic Association.Google Scholar
  71. Rose, W., & Rowlands, J. (2010). Introducing the concept of child well-being into government policy. In C. McAuley & W. Rose (Eds.), Child well-being: Understanding children’s lives. London: Jessica Kinglsey.Google Scholar
  72. Save the Children UK. (2008). The child development index: Holding government to account for children’s wellbeing. London: Save the Children UK.Google Scholar
  73. Save the Children UK. (2011). The child development index: Holding Government to Account for Children’s Wellbeing. Save the Children UK, London. Available online at http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/7129.html
  74. Stagner, M., Goerge, R. M., & Ballard, P. (2008). Improved indicators of child well-being. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  75. Takanishi, R. (1978). Childhood as a social issue: historical roots of contemporary child advocacy movements. Journal of Social Issuesn 34(2), 8–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2005a). County officials’ perceptions and use of KIDS COUNT. http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={24D4E23B-A2E1-4428-88A1-85B3B0AB15B1}.Google Scholar
  77. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2005b). Business leaders’ perceptions of KIDS COUNT.http://www.aecf.org/upload/publicationfiles/da3622h1256.pdf.
  78. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2005c). Summary of research findings: State legislative leaders’ perceptions of KIDS COUNT. http://www.aecf.org/upload/publicationfiles/da3622h1261.pdf.
  79. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2007). Summary of research findings: Awareness, use and perceptions of KIDS COUNT among congressional staff. http://www.aecf.org/KnowledgeCenter/Publications.aspx?pubguid={D92C23CA-7982-47C6-B74A-05464CF09057}.Google Scholar
  80. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2009a). Improve the nation’s data on children and families. http://www.aecf.org/~/media/PublicationFiles/BriefDataDraft.pdf.
  81. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2009b). The KIDS COUNT data book. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
  82. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2010). The KIDS COUNT data center (p. 4). Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
  83. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2011). 2011, KIDS COUNT data book. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey. http://datacenter.kidscount.org/DataBook/2010/Default.aspx.
  84. The Public Agenda. (1997). Kids these days: What Americans really think about the next generation. New York: The Public Agenda.Google Scholar
  85. The U. S. Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2011). America’s children: Key indicators of child well-being. Washington, DC: The U.S. Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.Google Scholar
  86. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. (2006). Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries; A comprehensive assessment of the lives and well-being of children and adolescents in the economically advanced nations (Report card, Vol. 7). Florence: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
  87. United Nations. (1989/1990). United Nations convention on the rights of children. www/unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm.
  88. United Nations. (2000, September). United Nations millennium declaration. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/.
  89. Voss, P. (1995). Indicators of child well-being in the United States, 1985–1992: An analysis of related factors. Baltimore: The Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
  90. Wallman, K. K. (2011). Foreword to America’s children: Key national indicators of well-being (Federal interagency forum on child and family statistics, p. iii). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. http://childstats.gov.Google Scholar
  91. Whitaker, I. P. (2001). Unequal opportunities among unequal states: The importance of examining state characteristics in making social welfare policies regarding children. Journal of Children and Poverty, 7(2), 145–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2010). The spirit level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger (pp. 21–22). New York: Bloomsbury Press.Google Scholar
  93. Wilson-Ahlstrom, A., Yohalem, N., Dubois, D., & Ji, P. (2011, September). From soft skills to hard data: Measuring youth program outcomes. The Forum for Youth Investment, washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.O’Hare Data and Demographic Services, LLCEllicott CityUSA

Personalised recommendations