A Picture of ACT's Children and Young People 2016


A Picture of Children and Young People 2016
Data and Indicators

A Picture of Children and Young People 2016 [PDF 9MB] Full Version

A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People complements the work being undertaken nationally and within jurisdictions across Australia to measure outcomes for children and young people.

This report incorporates nationally recognised indicators of children and young people’s health, wellbeing, learning and development together with ACT specific indicators. The outcomes of these indicators are potentially amenable to change over time through the implementation of prevention and early intervention strategies. The aim of reporting, monitoring and utilising this information is to lead to better outcomes for children and young people.

The investment in the collection and analysis of data provides the ACT Government and the community with an opportunity to reflect on the areas where children and young people are doing well and identify areas where we can improve by assisting with the development of responsive policy, programs and services within the ACT.

This is the sixth year the ACT Government has compiled key data on the health, wellbeing, learning and development of ACT’s children and young people in one report. There are 51 indicators reported in the 2016 publication, an increase of 14 additional indicators which will assist the ACT Government’s ability to measure the health and wellbeing of ACT children and young people.

The human services system is the network of supports that respond to a person’s needs. This can include services relating to public/social housing, health and wellbeing, education, disability, care and protection and justice.

The way that human services in the ACT are delivered is changing — for the better — under the Human Services Blueprint (the Blueprint). This is a plan, developed by community and government that will guide how services and supports are provided so that people get the best outcomes for their circumstances.

The Blueprint is being rolled out through the Better Services initiatives of Strengthening Families, OneLink and the West Belconnen Local Services Network.

For further information see www.betterservices.act.gov.au/home

A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People (A Picture) was the reporting mechanism for the ACT Children’s Plan and the ACT Young People’s Plan which both ceased in 2014. To reflect the ACT Government's continuing commitment to prioritising the health and wellbeing of our children and young people, the ACT Children and Young People’s Commitment 2015–2025 (the Commitment) was developed and released in December 2015.

The Commitment is a high-level strategic document that sets a vision for a whole-of-government and whole-of-community approach to promote the rights of children and young people (aged 0 to 25 years) in the ACT.

The Commitment identifies six priority areas that provide guidance to the Canberra community on how to assist children and young people to reach their potential, make a contribution and share the benefits of our community. A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People will act as the reporting mechanism for the key priority areas which will allow the ACT Government to track the progress of the priority areas and support informed policy and program development. The six priority areas are as follows:

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Executive summary

The inaugural report, released in 2011, highlighted that most children and young people in the ACT were faring well. This trend has continued and remains constant with the current release for 2016. The report continues to highlight areas where ACT children and young people are faring well and potential areas where health and wellbeing gains could be made. These are detailed below.

Children and Young People

Families, Kinship and Networks

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Community, Environments and Services

The regular monitoring and reporting of significant indicators for ACT children and young people is vital to establish baseline data to set targets for improvement and track changes on how children and young people are faring over time. It also assists with the establishment of benchmarks to guide and develop integrated whole-of-government responses to issues for children and young people. This will result in the early identification of emerging needs, trends and indicators of concern.

Ensuring that data evidence and research is used to inform and improve decision making, policy development and service delivery is critical both across government and community in the ACT. This publication can assist in prioritising effort into identified areas requiring improvement.

Background to the ACT Children and Young People Outcomes Framework

A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People uses the ACT Children and Young People Outcomes Framework (Outcomes Framework) to measure children and young people's health and wellbeing.

This Outcomes Framework reflects the ecological perspective of development and highlights the key protective, risk and other known factors that may impact on children and young people’s health and wellbeing. The interplay between and accumulation of these protective and risk factors during childhood and adolescence has a significant impact on outcomes, both in the short term and over the course of a lifetime.1

The Outcomes Framework focuses primarily on outcomes for children and young people and includes indicators focused upon physical health and mental wellbeing, development in the early years, education and healthy and pro-social behaviours. The achievement of positive health, wellbeing, learning and development outcomes in childhood and adolescence is a rich interplay between the relationships and environments in which children and young people grow up. The most significant influence on children and young people is their family. The communities children, young people and their families live in also have an influence, by providing the resources and environments for families to thrive. In recognition of the importance of families and communities, outcomes for these key areas are also reflected in the Outcomes Framework.

A review of the Outcomes Framework was undertaken to align it with the new ACT Children and Young People’s Commitment 2015–2025 (the Commitment) which was released in December 2015. Fourteen new indicators have been identified to strengthen and broaden the scope of the Outcomes Framework’s coverage of development and wellbeing measures for children and young people in the ACT. These indicators were identified as the best available means of measuring the Commitment’s priorities.

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The ACT Children and Young People outcomes framework

The ACT Children and Young People outcomes framework

Framework outcomes and indicators

Within each layer of influence around a child or young person we can identify outcomes that support positive health, wellbeing, learning and development. Assessing performance against these outcomes is actioned by measuring components—or indicators—over time. Performance data can inform future policy, programs and services.

Outcomes at the children and young people layer of influence

Indicators:
Factors we measure

Outcome 1: Optimal physical health and wellbeing

Outcome 2: Optimal development in the early years

Outcome 3: Educational engagement and success

Outcome 4: Adopt healthy and pro-social lifestyles

Outcomes at the family, kinship and informal network layer of influence

Indicators:
Factors we measure

Outcome 1: Access to sufficient material wellbeing

Outcome 2: Free from abuse and neglect

Outcome 3: Individual needs of families are recognised and supported

Outcomes at the community, environments, networks and formal services and broader economic, policy, political, social and environmental layer of influence

Indicators:
Factors we measure

Outcome 1: Local recreation spaces, activities and community facilities

Outcome 2: Family support services to meet the needs of parents

Outcome 3: Supportive and connected communities

About this report

Key

The following symbols are used in this report:

Title: Performance improving icon - Description: This symbol indicates that there has been improvement,

Title: Performance worsening icon - Description: This symbol indicates that performance is worsening.

Title: Performance maintaining icon - Description: This symbol indicates that performance is maintaining.

Title: No new data available icon - Description: This symbol indicates that no new data was available for this indicator.

Performance
improving

Performance
worsening

Performance maintaining

No new
data available

The ACT Children and Young People Outcomes Framework provides a conceptual map of outcomes and indicators relating to the health, wellbeing, learning and development of children and young people.

A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People 2016 has three parts:

Most of the indicators contained in the report outline how the ACT is progressing over time. Included for each indicator is a description, rationale for the indicator’s inclusion and an evaluation of how the ACT is faring. The symbols shown have been used to represent how the ACT is performing over time.

Data in this report has been sourced from a variety of ACT Government and national datasets. While many of the indicators have new data from 2015, some of the indicators present the same data from previous years as the data is collected periodically rather than annually. For these indicators, new data will be presented when available.

Four of the indicators have no new data for the reporting period as one data source will no longer be ongoing, one is a new indicator with data currently being collated and two other indicators use a data source which is available on a five-yearly basis.

Data has also been disaggregated (where possible) by age (or age cohort), gender, disability status, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background and ACT region to provide a more detailed picture of children and young people.

The selection of data on how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are faring in this report has been prioritised by the targets set in the Closing the Gap2 reform. As the ACT is a small jurisdiction, data cannot be reported for some of the indicators due to the small numbers which could lead to identification.

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An overview of ACT’s children and young people

How many children and young people live in the ACT?

As of June 2015 there were an estimated 385,397 people living in the ACT and 127,149 (33 per cent) were children and young people aged 0 to 24 years.3 Amongst children and young people aged 0 to 24 years, 2.9 per cent identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.4

Figure 1: Proportion (%) of estimated ACT resident population, by age group, June 2015 5

Figure 1: Proportion (%) of estimated ACT resident population, by age group, June 2015

Figure 2: Proportion (%) of the estimated resident population who were aged 0–24 years in each Australian state and territory, June 2015

Figure 2: Proportion (%) of the estimated resident population who were aged 0–24 years in each Australian state and territory, June 2015

Where were parents of ACT’s children and young people born?

In the ACT, 61 per cent (65,697) of children and young people (aged 0–24 years) were identified as having both parents born in Australia. Sixteen per cent (17,126) of children and young people indicated that both parents were born overseas and 23 per cent (24,094) indicated that one parent was born overseas.

Figure 3: Ancestry of dependent children aged 0–24 years, ACT 2011

Figure 3: Ancestry of dependent children aged 0–24 years, ACT 2011
Data source: ABS, Census, 2011.

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Where do ACT’s children and young people live?

The districts with the highest estimated number of children and young people aged 0–24 years in 2014 were Belconnen (32,243) and Tuggeranong (29,630). The districts with the highest proportion of residents aged 0–24 years were Gungahlin (36.7 per cent), Cotter-Namadgi (34.4 per cent), followed by Tuggeranong (34.1 per cent) and Belconnen (33.3 per cent).

TABLE 1: Total number and proportion (%) of estimated district population, by age group in the ACT, June 20146

District

Age group

Proportion
aged 0–24

0–4

5–9

10–14

15–19

20–24

Belconnen

7,159

5,966

<> 4,944

5,384

8,790

33.3%

Cotter-Namadgi

127

94

85

46

221

34.4%

Fyshwick-Pialligo-Hume

58

30

60

87

108

23.2%

Gungahlin

6,120

4,907

4,059

3,469

4,160

36.7%

North Canberra

2,425

2,148

1,983

3,120

7,848

33.0%

South Canberra

1,257

1,363

1,410

1,402

1,579

26.9%

Tuggeranong

6,081

5,647

5,542

6,186

6,174

34.1%

Weston Creek

1,646

1,600

1,373

1,231

1,114

29.9%

Woden

1,997

2,042

2,013

2,038

2,231

29.7%

What were the changes to where children and young people live?

The districts with the largest percentage change in the number of 0–24 year olds between 2009 and 2014 were Cotter-Namadgi (227.4 per cent) and Gungahlin (47.7 per cent). These increases relate to land release and development and for the Cotter-Namadgi region, this very large increase in population growth was due to development following the Canberra bushfires in 2003. The largest decline is in Tuggeranong (-12.1 per cent). The percentage changes in the number of females and males were strongest in Cotter-Namadgi (269 per cent and 199 per cent respectively) followed by Gungahlin (46.0 per cent for females and 49.4 per cent for males).

TABLE 2 Estimated resident population, ACT, by age and sex, 0–24 years, 2009 and 20147

District

30 June 2009

30 June 2014

Per cent change

Female

Male

Total

Female

Male

Total

Female

Male

Total

Belconnen

15,671

16,466

32,137

15,846

16,397

32,243

1.1%

-0.4%

0.3%

Cotter-Namadgi

71

104

175

262

311

573

269.0%

199.0%

227.4%

Fyshwick-Pialligo-Hume

131

227

358

140

203

343

6.9%

-10.6%

-4.2%

Gungahlin

7,604

7,771

15,375

11,103

11,612

22,715

46.0%

49.4%

47.7%

North Canberra

7,913

8,608

16,521

8,348

9,176

17,524

5.5%

6.6%

6.1%

South Canberra

3,414

3,524

6,938

3,538

3,473

7,011

3.6%

-1.4%

1.1%

Tuggeranong

16,379

17,329

33,708

14,428

15,202

29,630

-11.9%

-12.3%

-12.1%

Weston Creek

3,312

<> 3,621

6,933

3,240

3,724

6,964

-2.2%

2.8%

0.4%

Woden

4,952

5,203

10,155

5,092

5,229

10,321

2.8%

0.5%

1.6%

Total

59,447

62,853

122,300

61,997

65,327

127,324

4.3%

3.9%

4.1%

Data source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2015, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, Population estimates by age and sex, regions of Australian Capital Territory (ASGS 2011).

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Figure 4 Percentage change of 0–24 year olds in each ACT district, 2009–14

Figure 4 Percentage change of 0–24 year olds in each ACT district, 2009–14

Data source: ABS 2015, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, Population estimates by age and sex, regions of Australian Capital Territory (ASGS 2011).

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