In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Indicator 17 Social and emotional wellbeing of ACT kindergarten children


Social and Emotional Wellbeing of ACT Kindergarten Children


Indicator  description

The number of ACT kindergarten children scoring in the categories of 'High risk' 'Slightly raised' and 'Close to average' as measured by the ACT Health's Kindergarten Health Check Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

What do we measure?

The SDQs is a brief, easily administered screening tool that describes children's behaviours, emotions and relationships, and is parent rated.

ACT Health's SDQs records the number of kindergarten children scoring 'High risk' (at a higher risk of having social and emotional difficulties). The scoring also includes a scoring of 'Slightly raised' (a likely or possible risk of social and emotional difficulties) and 'Close to average' (at a lower risk of having social and emotional difficulties).

Why is this important?

Research indicates that children with low levels of social and emotional wellbeing may be at risk of developing behavioural and mental health problems and demonstrating poor school performance.27 Social and emotional wellbeing can therefore hinder or assist children in navigating their way through life. This leads to an emphasis on measuring the social and emotional strengths of children. Information from this indicator can inform government policies and programs about early intervention initiatives that are effective in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of children.

Policy Context

Collaborations and sharing of data between sections of ACT Health, Community Services and Education Directorates aim to gather and analyse data to ascertain what services are currently being provided, and where the gaps are in social and wellbeing services provision to kindergarten children in the ACT.

How is the ACT progressing?

Between 2014 and 2017, there has been a small increase overall in the proportion of children whose parents report their child is experiencing raised social and emotional difficulties (Table 15). The data indicates that the proportion of ACT kindergarten boys at relative risk of social and emotional difficulties is increasing, but that of girls is steady (Table 16). Over the same period, the data indicates an increase in the risk for children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, but proportional risk remains steady (Table 17).

Children who are six years of age and older early in the Kindergarten school year, also are at more risk. It should be noted that these children may be repeating Kindergarten, or have not started kindergarten at five years of age due to difficulties being recognised in the previous year.

Table 15: Number and proportion (%) of ACT kindergarten children at relative risk of social and emotional difficulties, 2014-17

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

 

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Close to average

4,276

90.5

4,574

90.6

4,679

90.1

4,658

88.9

Slightly raised

234

5.0

252

5.0

225

4.3

303

5.8

High risk

215

4.6

225

4.5

287

5.5

278

5.3

Total

4,725

100

5,051

100

5,191

100

5,239

100

Source: ACT Kindergarten Health Check program - Women Youth and Children Community Health Programs and Academic Unit of General Practice 2014-17.

Table 16: Number and proportion (%) of ACT kindergarten children at relative risk of social and emotional difficulties, by sex, 2014-17

  

2014

2015

2016

2017

  

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Close to average

Male

2,152

88.2

2,271

88.3

2,384

87.9

2,308

85.9

Female

2,124

93.0

2,303

92.9

2,295

92.6

2,350

92.1

Slightly raised

Male

145

5.9

152

5.9

137

5.0

190

7.1

Female

89

3.9

100

4.0

88

3.6

113

4.4

High risk

Male

144

5.9

150

5.8

192

7.1

189

7.0

 

Female

71

3.1

75

3.0

95

3.8

89

3.5

Source: ACT Kindergarten Health Check program - Women Youth and Children Community Health Programs and Academic Unit of General Practice 2014-17.

Table 17: Number and proportion (%) of ACT kindergarten children of relative risk of social and emotional difficulties, by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, 2014-17

  

2014

2015

2016

2017

  

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Close to average

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

74

1.6

93

1.8

108

2.1

104

2.0

Non-Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

4,188

88.6

4,470

88.5

4,562

87.9

4,541

86.7

Slightly raised

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

9

0.2

13

0.3

9

0.2

12

0.2

Non-Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

223

4.7

239

4.7

215

4.1

291

5.6

High risk

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

9

0.2

15

0.3

18

0.4

17

0.2

Non-Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

205

4.3

209

4.1

267

5.1

259

4.9

Source: ACT Kindergarten Health Check program - Women Youth and Children Community Health Programs and Academic Unit of General Practice 2014-17.

Table 18: Number and proportion (%) of ACT kindergarten children of relative risk of social and emotional difficulties, by age group, 2014-17

  

2014

2015

2016

2017

  

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Close to average

Under 5 years

572

12.1

604

12.0

674

13.0

723

13.8

5-6 years

3,583

75.8

3,857

76.4

3,910

75.3

3,844

73.4

Over 6 years

121

2.6

113

2.2

95

1.8

91

1.7

Slightly raised

Under 5 years

42

0.9

30

0.6

23

0.4

55

1

5-6 years

180

3.8

211

4.2

194

3.7

237

4.5

Over 6 years

12

0.3

11

0.2

8

0.2

11

0.2

High risk

Under 5 years

19

0.4

22

0.4

35

0.7

42

0.8

5-6 years

182

3.9

194

3.8

231

4.5

22

4.2

Over 6 years

14

0.3

9

0.2

21

0.4

14

0.3

Source: ACT Kindergarten Health Check program - Women Youth and Children Community Health Programs and Academic Unit of General Practice 2014-17.

27 ANGLICARE NSW South, NSW West and ACT, Limiting Futures: Youth Unemployment in the ACT, p.4