Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) Australia's children, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 05 October 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). Australia's children. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children
Australia's children. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 25 February 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's children [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Oct. 5]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, Australia's children, viewed 5 October 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children
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A number of options are available for improving national information on children’s wellbeing. These options are not exhaustive, and different options will meet different information needs.
Many data gaps can be filled by enhancing existing data sets. The several potential approaches for this include:
Data linkage can be used to combine data from 2 or more sources, while preserving privacy, to tell a much more powerful story than would be possible from a single source.
By combining information from multiple data sets, it is possible to improve understanding of:
The key national indicators for child health, development and wellbeing, which include the Children’s Headline Indicators, underpin this report.
In 2006, the 19 priority areas of the Children’s Headline Indicators were endorsed by 3 ministerial councils. One ministerial council focused on health, another on education, and another on community and disability services. There is scope for a comprehensive review of these areas and the indicators to ensure they reflect contemporary information needs.
Linked data sets provide the opportunity to develop and report new, more comprehensive, indicators which provide additional insights into children’s wellbeing. For example, information on potentially vulnerable households could be gained by linking Centrelink data to other sources relating to vulnerability; such as data on homelessness or hospitalisations. Similarly, linked longitudinal data could be used to measure the proportion of children in child protection who go on to be involved in the youth justice system.
In some cases, establishing a new data collection may be required to capture information on topics for which data are not available, or could not be collected by enhancing existing data collections.
Demand is increasing for locally-relevant data about children which spans multiple aspects of their experience. There is potential to take the sort of data presented in this report and build on it to produce a layered national data and reporting platform to support collating, presenting and sharing people-centred data about children, across multiple domains and according to place or location. This would inform a wide range of information needs on children’s wellbeing in Australia.
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