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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT

AN INITIATIVE OF THE FIRST QUARTER LEADERSHIP GROUP JULY 2013


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

The 2013 State of Bendigo’s Children Report is funded by the RE Ross Trust and City of Greater Bendigo. The framework in this 2013 Report is based on the same framework developed for the 2011 State of Bendigo’s Children Report. The initial framework and indicators of child wellbeing were developed through a series of workshops attended by a wide range of organisations involved in work with children and young people. The development of this Report was managed by St Luke’s Anglicare on behalf of the First Quarter Leadership Group (The First Quarter). It is this group that was responsible for a new governance structure for the planning and coordination of services for children, youth and young adults in the City of Greater Bendigo. The report has been produced by: Sandra Hamilton (project worker) and John Bonnice from St Luke’s, assisted by Cathie Nolan and Dr Joyce Cleary from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. For further information about this publication contact: Mr John Bonnice Director, Strategy and Innovation St Luke’s Anglicare, 22 Pall Mall, Bendigo 3550 Tel: 03 5444 8103 Email: j.bonnice@stlukes.org.au

This publication is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Australian Copyright Act 1968. The materials presented in this report are for information purposes only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessments of the matters discussed, and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information and obtain independent advice before acting on any information contained in or in connection with this report. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate the Department of Planning and Community Development and the First Quarter Leadership Group will not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may be incurred by any person acting in reliance upon the information. © St Luke’s Anglicare, 2013 ISBN: 978 1 920945 59 6


FOREWARD

CONTENTS

Almost universally we want children and young people to thrive and to be supported. But do we know how well that’s happening or where, as a community? And can we improve our support? In 2011 the first State of Bendigo’s Children Report was published under the auspice of the ‘Bendigo Child Friendly City Leadership Group’. This was an important initiative in the life of the City of Greater Bendigo and demonstrated that this city prioritises the safety and wellbeing of its children and young people. The State of Bendigo’s Children Reports hold us to account as a community, and challenge us to ensure every child and young person in our city has the opportunity to grow, develop and reach their full potential. The Reports in 2011 and 2013 highlight the need to work more diligently to address the disadvantage many children and young people experience. Failure to do so is unacceptable. As Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director states in the State of the World’s Children Report 2012: Every disadvantaged child bears witness to a moral offense: the failure to secure her or his rights to survive, thrive and participate in society. And every excluded child represents a missed opportunity – because when society fails to extend to children the services and protection that would enable them to develop as productive and creative individuals, it loses the social, cultural and economic contributions they could have made. We must do more to reach all children in need, wherever they live, wherever they are excluded and left behind. Since 2011 there have been many initiatives taken by agencies and the City of Greater Bendigo council to improve outcomes for children and young people and this report indicates improvements in a number of domains. However, a great deal is still to be done. An important development since 2011 has been the finalising of a governance structure for the development and coordination of services for children, youth and young adults across the City of Greater Bendigo. Known as ‘The First Quarter Leadership Group’, comprising a leadership group and three age-defined coordinating groups, this important initiative will enable us to better plan and utilise our resources as a community, to improve outcomes for children and young people. The First Quarter takes over from the former Bendigo Child Friendly City Leadership Group in being responsible for the ongoing development and monitoring of the State of Bendigo’s Children reporting process. It will provide an important means through which The First Quarter can report to community on its work in supporting children and young people. The Report’s data will contribute to the planning of services for children, youth and young adults, and help to identify key areas to be addressed, as we continue our efforts to support our children and young people. The First Quarter commits to narrowing the unavoidable data gaps in the current report and to producing this report every two years.

Executive Summary

2

Introduction

3

Demographics An overview of Bendigo’s population

4

ARE BENDIGO’S CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE … • Developing Well

6

Kim Sykes Interim Co-Chair, The First Quarter Leadership Group

• Safe and Secure

12

• Engaged, Learning, Achieving

18

• Happy and Healthy

25

• Active Citizens Next Steps

30 32

More Data

33

References

34

Appendix A The age of children in Greater Bendigo

35

Appendix B The indicator framework

36

We must do more to reach all children in need, wherever they live, wherever they are excluded and left behind – Anthony Lake, UNICEF


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 2007, Bendigo was the first city in Australia to be recognised as a ‘Child Friendly City’ by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Building on this status is an inspiration of many people and organisations throughout the Bendigo community. It reflects a shared commitment to creating a place where children feel safe and secure, and are able to explore and learn about the world. In 2011 The State of Bendigo’s Children Report (Report) was launched as an initiative of the Bendigo Child Friendly City Leadership Group, produced through a partnership of the City of Greater Bendigo, St Luke’s Anglicare, regional state government agencies, community groups and business leaders. It sought to assist the Leadership Group and agencies involved with children and young people in Bendigo, to further develop a Child Friendly City and advocate for the needs of children. Since its initial release, the Report has achieved its aim, providing localised data to assist with planning and development of child-focused initiatives in the Greater Bendigo area. The Child Friendly City Leadership Group made a commitment to produce a Report every two years. Maintaining this commitment is crucial to monitoring our progress in supporting children to develop and thrive and to our aspirations as a Child Friendly city. During this time there has been considerable work completed to enable the development of a child and youth governance structure for Bendigo. This work has included two important initiatives: 1/ ‘Youth partnerships’, a Victorian Government initiative funded a Bendigo project to design and test new ways for services to work collaboratively at a local level, to support vulnerable young people. 2/ The ‘Children’s Governance’, a project auspiced by City of Greater Bendigo and funded through Bendigo Communities for Children. The aim of this project was similar to ‘Youth Partnerships’ but focused on coordination of services for children aged to 8 years. Its early achievements determined this approach could have a broader mandate and the projects were combined. Consequently, The First Quarter (focusing on up to 25-year-olds) was established with membership from government organisations and service agencies. Its aim is to create a strong and sustainable place-based governance structure through a strategic approach for local planning, decision-making and the coordination of services for children, youth and young adults. The Report plays a key function, informing the development of The First Quarter’s strategic directions. This document examines key factors associated with the wellbeing of children and their families. It uses specific ‘indicators’ to measure how Bendigo is faring compared with the Victorian average. While it shows that Bendigo’s children and young people are doing well, there is still work to be done.

2

Where we are doing well • The percentage of developmentally vulnerable children in Bendigo has fallen by approximately 4 per cent since 2009 as measured by the Australia Early Development Index. In 2009, 23 per cent of prep-aged children were considered vulnerable on at least one development domain, where as in 2012, 19 per cent were considered vulnerable. • The percentage of developmentally vulnerable children on two or more domains has fallen by 3 per cent since 2009. In 2012, 10 per cent of children in their first year of school in Bendigo were developmentally vulnerable in two or more domains compared to 13 per cent in 2009. • The number of playgroups, supported playgroups and parent-run playgroups has increased considerably in the past two years. • Kindergarten attendance rates for four-year-olds continue to improve.

Areas for improvement • Compared to the Victorian average, more children in Bendigo are: –– Living in low income households –– Living in households with no internet –– Not engaged in either earning or learning • There has been a decrease in the reading standards of children in Years 3, 5 and 7 since the last report. • Reported family violence incidents have increased significantly in the past two years, along with police reports of young assault victims. • Child Protection reporting and the percentage of children and young people counselled at the Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) remains high. • Youth unemployment remains almost double that of the state. This document’s reporting process has been developed as a tool for professionals, planners and community members as they seek to improve the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly against these ‘indicators’.

This document’s reporting process has been developed as a tool for professionals, planners and community


INTRODUCTION This is the second State of Bendigo’s Children Report. The first Report was released in 2011 by the Child Friendly City Leadership Group to support policy development and planning. This group was formed to establish Bendigo as a ‘Child Friendly City’ in response to the City of Greater Bendigo receiving worldwide recognition from UNICEF as Australia’s first Child Friendly City in January 2007. A UNICEF Child Friendly City is a place where children (aged up to 18 years) feel safe and secure, and are able to explore and learn about the world. It actively engages children and monitors and responds to their needs. A Child Friendly City does more than smile at children. It translates to a city that works to ensure children thrive. Actions include involving children in decision making, raising awareness of children’s rights, producing regular ‘City’s Children’s Reports’ and providing independent advocacy for children. Since the initial Report, a new governance structure, for services to work together more collaboratively at a local level, entitled ‘The First Quarter’, has been developed. The mandate of The First Quarter includes children and young people aged up to 25 years. It aims to create strong and sustainable place-based governance through a strategic approach for local planning, decision-making and coordination of services for children, youth and young adults. The first Report’s content was developed during two workshops attended by a diverse group of agencies involved with Bendigo’s children and young people, which included government, community, schools and academia. A report’s framework was developed by outlining key factors associated with the wellbeing of children and their families (see Appendix B). This framework outlines the indicators of child and family wellbeing and examines the capacity of Bendigo’s community to support child and family wellbeing. This framework, established for the 2011 Report, is not altered in the current report, instead it shows comparisons, where possible, with the 2011 data. The Report’s process, therefore, can be built up over time, adding trends and results of research projects, to build a fuller picture for children and young people in Bendigo. Data gaps in the 2011 Report have been addressed where possible. Some data remains unavailable due to the timeframes required between the collection, analysis and reporting. Lack of access to government department held data also contributed to unavailable data for this report. On reflection, all services and government departments need to be more vigilant in collecting local government data to address these gaps in the future. The inclusion of The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) numeracy standards is an addition to this Report and will provide baseline data to follow each cohort through the four stages in reading, writing and numeracy.

As in 2011, this Report shows that Bendigo’s children and young people are doing well in many ways. Since the last report, there has been a decrease in the number of children in Bendigo who are developmentally vulnerable in one or more of the domains as measured by the Australian Early Development Index. There are also increasing trends in children attending early years health assessments and kindergarten. In other areas there is work to be done. More children than the Victorian average are living in families that are not financially secure, or where parents experience time pressures. The number of children and young people who have experienced sexual assault and child protection notifications remain high. Family violence incidents have increased significantly in the past two years, along with reports of young assault victims. Compared to the previous report there has been little shift in children’s access to internet at home and the number of 15 to 19-year-olds who are engaged in learning and earning activities. Youth unemployment remains a concern for the community, being almost double that of adults.

Report domains and indicators Children grow and develop in the context of support from their family and the broader community. In addition to indicators of child wellbeing, we’ve included broader indicants we call ‘domains’ that tell us how well families are faring. The Report’s five domains of child wellbeing are: • Developing Well • Safe and Secure • Engaged, Earning, Learning • Happy and Healthy • Active Citizens In the 2011 Report data for some indicators could not be found, notably in the ‘Happy and Healthy’ and ‘Active Citizens’ sections. This represents data gaps to be filled in the future. Efforts have been made to include stories of projects and initiatives aimed at contributing to the response to these gaps since the last Report. The Report is divided into domain ‘chapters’ which feature indicators 1 to 20, including a time trend (if available) and identifies key population groups affected. Where available and applicable, the overall data from both Bendigo and Victoria is provided for each indicator. Bendigo’s data is compared to Victoria and when Bendigo data is highlighted in green, it indicates ‘average’ or ‘better than average’ compared to Victorian data. When data is highlighted as red it indicates ‘areas that need improvement’. Arrows indicate Bendigo data trends.

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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

AN OVERVIEW OF BENDIGO’S POPULATION BENDIGO The City of Greater Bendigo is 150 kilometres northwest of Melbourne and has a population of 103,550 as of June 30, 20121. It is a major regional centre, projected to grow during the next 20 years. The city is in the Local Government Area (LGA) of Greater Bendigo and the data in this report describes the LGA as a whole unless a different geography is stated.

A UNICEF Child Friendly City is a place where children ... feel safe and secure

BENDIGO

OUR CHILDREN At the 2011 census more than one-third of the City of Greater Bendigo’s population (34 per cent 33,692) were children and young people under the age of 25. These numbers are projected to increase by the year 2031, to 47,159 as the population grows. The table below shows the number of children and young people now and into the future. The counts for children at every age in 2011 can be found at Appendix A.

Table 1: Recent and projected growth of young people in Bendigo Age

2006

2011

2016

2021

2026

2031

0 to 4

6,010

6,824

7,527

8,132

8,654

9,188

5 to 14

13,621

13,913

15,117

16,721

18,109

19,378

15 to 24

14,316

15,121

15,702

16,353

17,438

18,593

Source: http://forecast2.id.com.au City of Greater Bendigo (accessed April 2013)2

Statistics show in 2006, across 7,352 people, the most populous age group in the City of Greater Bendigo was 15 to 19 years. In 2021 the most populous forecast age group will continue to be aged 15 to 19 years, across 8,381 people. The number of young people aged under 15 years is forecast to increase by 5,201, 26.5 per cent, representing a rise in the proportion of the population to 19.8 per cent. 2 4


Five year age structure – 2011 City of Greater Bendigo

Regional Vic

8 7

Percentage of Population

6 5

4 3

2 1

0

r o4 o 9 to 14 to 19 to 24 to 29 to 34 to 39 to 44 to 49 to 54 to 59 to 64 to 69 to 74 to 79 to 84 ove 0t 5t d 5 0 0 5 0 5 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 0 5 1 8 2 2 1 7 3 7 6 6 3 5 5 4 4 an 85 Age group years the population experts

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011(Usual residence data)

POPULATION GROUPS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST Bendigo is relatively socio-economically disadvantaged in terms of income, education, occupation, wealth and living conditions. It has an Australian Bureau of Statistics Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage score of 983 compared to the Victorian average of 1000. Disadvantage however is not evenly distributed across the city but concentrated in sections. Most of the negative outcomes in this report have a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged populations. An area map of disadvantage can be found in 2011 Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) report. Certain population groups are consistently over represented in disadvantaged statistics. These include: public housing tenants; Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders; single parent families; people with non-English speaking backgrounds; and people with a disability (Australian Government 2009). The table below shows the size of these groups in Greater Bendigo. Some make up very small proportions of the population and may not be well catered for because of their lack of critical mass.

Table 2: Over-represented groups in disadvantaged statistics, Greater Bendigo Greater Bendigo measure

Rank amongst LGAs

Victoria measure

Social housing stock as a percentage of total dwellings

6%

15

4%

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

1.2%

14

0.6%

Single parent families

18%

8

15%

Speaks a language other than English at home

2%

60

22%

New settler arrivals per 100,000 population

162

39

550

Disability (core activity need for assistance)

5.1%

36

4.5%

Source: DHS 2009 Local Government Area Statistical Profiles (internal Departmental resource)

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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

DEVELOPING WELL The first years of life shape a child s brain chances in life and adult health.

,

Early intervention works. Early intervention is cost effective. – Dr Sharon Goldfeld, Victorian Gov. Senior Child Health Medical Advisor

CHILDREN ARE DEVELOPING WELL BY AGE SIX The years before six are the most important to a child’s development. A good, safe, healthy start in life increases success at school and improves social and economic life chances.

Report 2011

Report 2013

CHILDREN WELL DEVELOPED BY THEIR FIRST YEAR OF SCHOOL 3

CHILDREN WELL DEVELOPED BY THEIR FIRST YEAR OF SCHOOL 4

VICTORIA 90%

VICTORIA 90%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 87%%

Time trend: Unknown – first data collection 2009

BENDIGO BENDIGO 90%%

(Indicator currency: 2012)

Ten per cent (130) of Bendigo children in their first year of school were developmentally vulnerable in two or more of the following domains in 2012: physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills (school-based); communication skills and general knowledge (further data is provided on the following page). The percentage of developmentally vulnerable children in Bendigo has fallen by approximately four per cent since 2009. In 2009, 23 per cent of prep-aged children were considered vulnerable on at least one development domain, where as in 2012, 19 per cent were considered vulnerable. Key population groups affected: nationally, children that are developmentally vulnerable are more likely to live in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities or populations that are not proficient in English. Indigenous children are more likely to be developmentally vulnerable on the language and cognitive skills domain. 6


Australian Early Development Index Domains 2012 5 Physical health & wellbeing

Report 2011 (Indicator currency 2009)

Report 2013 (Indicator currency 2012)

VICTORIA %

92

BENDIGO %

VICTORIA %

BENDIGO BENDIGO % %

92

93

92

Social competence & wellbeing

Report 2011 (Indicator currency 2009)

Report 2013 (Indicator currency 2012)

VICTORIA %

92

BENDIGO %

VICTORIA %

BENDIGO BENDIGO % %

92

89

92

Emotional maturity

Report 2011 (Indicator currency 2009)

Report 2013

(Indicator currency 2012)

VICTORIA %

92

BENDIGO %

VICTORIA %

BENDIGO %

91

88 92

Language & cognitive skills

Report 2011 (Indicator currency 2009)

Report 2013 (Indicator currency 2012)

VICTORIA %

94

BENDIGO %

VICTORIA %

BENDIGO %

94

92 93

Report 2013 Eight per cent (110) of children in their first year of school in 2012: • Were found not to be physically ready for the school day (i.e. not dressed appropriately or were hungry or tired) • Not physically independent (i.e. toilet habits), • Lacked hand preference/coordination • Lacked gross and fine motor skills This indicates a slight increase in vulnerability in this domain in comparison with the 2009 results (1.8)

Eight per cent (106) of children in their first year of school in 2012: • Lacked overall social competence (i.e. ability to play with various children) • Did not consistently display responsibility and respect for others/property • Experienced difficulty in learning activities (i.e. working independently and neatly) • Experienced difficulty complying with classroom routines, and appeared to be • Were relatively disinterested in exploring new books, toys or unfamiliar objects or games This indicates a statistically significant decrease in vulnerability in this domain in comparison with the 2009 results (1.3)

Eight per cent (109) of children in their first year of school in 2012: • Never or almost never show pro-social and helping behaviour • Were often anxious and fearful (i.e. worried, unhappy, nervous, sad, indecisive or excessively shy) • Often exhibited aggressive behaviours (i.e. physical fights with other children or temper tantrums) • Were often hyperactive, restless and inattentive This indicates a statistically significant decrease in vulnerability in this domain in comparison with the 2009 results (1.3)

Seven per cent (90) of children in their first year of school in 2012: • Lacked basic literacy skills (i.e. had problems identifying letters or attaching sounds to them and may not have known how to write their own name) • Showed little interest in literacy, numeracy and memory (i.e. books and reading, maths and number games and may have had difficulty remembering things) • Did not display advanced literacy (i.e. cannot read or write simple words or sentences, and rarely write voluntarily) • Expressed marked difficulty with numbers (i.e. counting, number recognition, shape recognition and time) This indicates a slight decrease in vulnerability in this domain in comparison with the 2009 results (1.3)

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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

Communication and general knowledge

Report 2011 (Indicator currency 2009)

Report 2013 (Indicator currency 2012)

VICTORIA %

92

BENDIGO %

VICTORIA %

BENDIGO %

Nine per cent (121) of children in their first year of school in 2012: • Had difficulty participating in games involving the use of language • Were difficult to understand and had difficulty understanding others

91

94

91

This indicates the same level of vulnerability in this domain in comparison with the 2009 results (1.6)

Proportion of children vulnerable on two or more AEDI domains LODDON VALLEY

30%

Report 2013

BORUNG

SERPENTINE

LOD DO

WEDDERBURN

ROCHESTER

N

STANHOPE ELMORE RAYWOOD

KOOYOORA STATE PARK

INGLEWOOD

LOGAN

15%

BRIDGEWATER

KINGOWER RHEOLA

RIVER

BEALIBA

DUNOLLY

LOCAL COMMUNITY

BET BET

MARONG

EPSOM

BENDIGO

LAANECOORIE

MANDURANG STRATHFIELDSAYE

LAANECOORIE RESERVOIR

TOOLLEENN AXEDALE KNOWSLEY

RAVENSWOOD

EDDINGTON

HEATHCOTE

13.5 16.1 7.2 15.8 21.3 16.4 10.9 9.5 NATTE YALLOCK

0%

EAGLEHAWK NEWBRIDGE

MOLIAGUL TARNAGULLA

BARINGHUP

CAIRN CURRAN RESERVOIR

California Gully

MALDON

HARCOURT

MIA MIA REDESDALE

Heathcote Kangaroo Kennington Long Gully North East & surrounds Bendigo & surrounds Flat/Big Hill

Figure 1: Proportion of children vulnerable on two or more AEDI domains, within each SLA in regional Victoria, 2012

8

RUSHWORTH

GOORNONG RIVER

RESULTS (%)

AVO CA

Bendigo LGA

Victoria


CHILDREN VISIT A MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH NURSE The Maternal and Child Health Service is a universal service that monitors the health and development of children and provides support to parents. With consultations it conducts 10 key ‘ages and stages’, from birth to school age, and focuses on prevention, detection and early intervention of health, wellbeing and developmental concerns.

Report 2011

Report 2013

CHILDREN HAVE A 4 MONTH ASSESSMENT 6

VICTORIA 91%

BENDIGO 92%

CHILDREN HAVE A 4 MONTH ASSESSMENT 7

VICTORIA 93%

BENDIGO 90%

CHILDREN HAVE A 3.5 YEAR ASSESSMENT

CHILDREN HAVE A 3.5 YEAR ASSESSMENT

VICTORIA 69%

VICTORIA 64%

BENDIGO 71%

Time trend: Improved 2001 – 2010

BENDIGO 72%

Time trend: Improved 2011 – 2012

Bendigo’s children are increasingly supported by child expertise with 96 per cent seen by a Maternal and Child Health nurse at the four-week assessment, 90 per cent at the four-month assessment, 75 per cent at the one-year-old assessment and 72 per cent at the 3.5-year assessment. Over the past 10 years the numbers attending for the 3.5-year assessment has nearly doubled from 40 per cent (2001). Indicator currency: 2011 Key population groups affected While use of the service in the first year of life is almost universal, participation decreases with age. Those that stop using the service may be the disadvantaged families most likely to benefit from it. For example, participation by Aboriginal families is lower than non-Aboriginal families (DEECD 2009a).

CHILDREN AND PARENTS ARE INVOLVED IN PLAYGROUPS Playgroups promote a child’s development, build community connections and provide information and support to parents. Children’s involvement in playgroups (and other quality early years programs) are linked to future educational attainment (Pascal 2010).

Report 2011 SUPPORTED PLAYGROUPS 8

Report 2013

BENDIGO BENDIGO

0/29

SUPPORTED PLAYGROUPS 9 Time trend: Unknown

BENDIGO

2/44

Supported playgroups aim to engage vulnerable and disadvantaged families including Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse, recently arrived, socio-economically disadvantaged and those affected by disability (DEECD 2009a). In the past two years there has been an increase in playgroups from 29 to 44 in the Greater Bendigo area. Of these, there are now two supported playgroups (i.e. facilitated by a qualified worker), four facilitated playgroups, six Mother Goose/ music groups, two playgroups in Neighbourhood Houses, and 30 parent-run playgroups. Indicator currency: 2013 Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

Reflection

How can communities help families to ensure children are ready for learning? Literacy initiatives for the early years

There are strong links between literacy, school performance, self-esteem and life chances. Poor literacy skills can have a detrimental effect on students’ academic pathways and are associated with generally lower education attainment, earnings, health and social outcomes and are linked to higher rates of unemployment, welfare dependencies and teenage parenting.1 The central task of reading and writing provide the foundation for more advanced skills and knowledge that is essential for the development of human potential.2 The Goldfields Libraries employ several staff dedicated to the provision of collections and library programs for children and young adults. Library initiatives for young children include: • Storytime twice weekly for children aged two to five years at Bendigo Library and weekly at Kangaroo Flat Library and Eaglehawk Library • Toddler Time for children aged up to two years, held weekly at Bendigo Library and twice weekly at Kangaroo Flat Library • ‘Storytime Specials’ which encourage a broader family participation take place on a regular basis and include Bedtime Storytime, National Simultaneous Storytime and a Storytime Spring Series among others, and Outreach Storytime on request • Baby’s First Library Card Program runs collaboratively with Maternal and Child Health Service. New parents are given a brochure at the four-month check inviting them to join their new baby as a library member with the incentive of receiving a free age-appropriate board book, rhyme time booklet, DVD and library bag It is anticipated, once the rebuild of the Bendigo Library is complete in early 2014 the level of programming for young children will increase with the improved child-friendly spaces and enhanced junior collections. 1. Department of Human Services 2001, The ‘Best Start’ Indicators Project, Victorian Department of Human Services, Melbourne. 2. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development 2006, Strategies for improving outcomes for young children, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Melbourne.


Bendigo s Communities for Children initiative draws on the State of Bendigo s Children Report 2011 The Communities for Children (C4C) initiative provides innovative prevention and early intervention programs to families with children up to 12 years experiencing complex needs and who may be disconnected from family and children services. The overall focus of C4C is on service-based projects involving direct support to children and families to improve child wellbeing outcomes across the areas health, early learning and development, and family support. Early 2012 saw the redevelopment of the C4C Community Strategic Plan setting out the local vision, goals, and strategies for 2012 to 2014. This included a comprehensive consultation process with families, feedback from project partners and the Communities for Children Reference Committee, reviewing evaluations of existing projects, and collating reflections with discussions that have resulted from the development and publication of the State of Bendigo’s Children Report. It was broadly agreed the Report provided the data needed to sharpen the focus and direction of C4C for the 2012 to 2014 period, as it contains a comprehensive range of indicators (in relation to the development and wellbeing of Bendigo’s children) that have been benchmarked against the Victorian average. There are six projects operating as part of C4C Bendigo that were informed by the Report. C4C Bendigo reports that C4C projects have positively influenced change in data for Bendigo and/or contributing to future change, specifically through: Focus: ‘Families are supported by child expertise’ and ‘Children are supported by positive relationships‘ C4C Project: Supported Playgroup, Bendigo Community Health; Kid’s Connect Project, St Luke’s; and Off to an Early Start, City Of Greater Bendigo Focus: ‘Children are developing well by their first year of school’ C4C Project: Off to an Early Start, City of Greater Bendigo Focus: ‘Families are creating a positive learning environment’ and ‘Families participating in their children’s schools’ C4C Project: Schools as Community Hubs Focus: ‘Families are able spend time together’ C4C Project: Kid’s Connect Focus: ‘Communities have quality organisations, services, programs’ C4C Project: Positive Connections - Aboriginal Support Program, Bendigo District Aboriginal Co-operative Focus: ‘Communities have community, government and business working together’ C4C Project: Early Years Governance Project, City of Greater Bendigo In addition to the six projects the C4C Partners have agreed that all C4C projects and partner agencies will integrate the following outcomes within their project activity and broader work with families: • Improve literacy and language development for children • Build confidence and skills of parents • Improve education and vocational outcomes for parents • Healthy eating for children • All C4C projects and partnering agencies are culturally safe for Aboriginal children A range of actions have been developed and implemented by C4C partners to help achieve these outcomes. Source: Bendigo Communities for Children (St Luke’s Anglicare, C4C Facilitating Partner)

n o i t c e l f e R

h to ... c a o r p p a y-wide t i n u m m children a co r d l o i f u b t n e e w velopm e d How can e g a u nd lang skills a d y n c a a r e e c t n • Li arents confide p r s o t f n e s r e a p outcom l a n • Building o i t a inal c g o i v r o d b n A a r on n safe fo e r y d l l l • Educati i a h r c u r t l are cu ating fo s e e i y c h n t l e a g e • H s and a t c e j o r p l al • Ensure d families n children a

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THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

SAFE AND SECURE The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child declared, for a child to develop to his or her best capabilities they should grow up in a family environment in an atmosphere of happiness love and understanding.

,

– United Nations, 1989, para 8

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SAFE IN THEIR OWN HOMES

Children and young people need homes free from violence and other physical hazards. Experiences of family violence, particularly when repeated over a prolonged period of time, have been shown to lead to excessive irritability, emotional distress, regressive behaviours, disturbed sleep, poor concentration and depressive symptoms in children and young people (Bromfield & Higgins 2005; DEECD 2010). In the long term this can result in aggressive behaviour, decreased responsiveness, post-traumatic stress disorder and decreased independence (DEECD 2010).

Report 2011

Report 2013

REPORTED FAMILY VIOLENCE INCIDENTS 10

REPORTED FAMILY VIOLENCE INCIDENTS 11

BENDIGO BENDIGO

BENDIGO

649

Victorian LGA average: 650 Time trend: increased 2008/9 to 2009/10

1165

Time Trend: increased 2009/10 to 2011/12

In 2010/11 there were 752 reports of family violence reported to police in Greater Bendigo. In the following financial year there were 1165 reports of family violence reported to police in Greater Bendigo. This represents an increasing trend in reported family violence incidents since 2009/10. Indicator currency 2011/12. Note: It is acknowledged that this indicator will be sensitive to changes in reporting practice. An increase in incidents may reflect a better detection of cases rather than an increase in crimes.

Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

12


An alarming trend in family violence in rural areas The single best predictor of children becoming either perpetrators or victims of domestic violence later in life is whether or not they grow up in a home where there is domestic violence. The 2011 State of Victoria’s Children Report states that the percentage of family violence incidents where children and young people are present are consistently high in the regional areas compared with the metropolitan areas. School Entrant Health Questionnaire (SEHQ) 2011 data also suggests that a higher percentage of children in rural Victoria have a history of witnessing violence (4.6 per cent in rural compared with 2.7 per cent in metropolitan Victoria), with Loddon Mallee (4.8 per cent) rating second highest of the regions. The Centre for Non-Violence reports that police referrals for family violence incidents in the Loddon Mallee Region in 2009/2010 were 877. This has increased to 1883 referrals from police in 2012/13 (to the end of April 2013). If it is assumed that children were present in around one third of these incidents, then in 2009/10 children were present in 266 cases. In 2012/13 (to April) this figure has more than doubled to 564 cases where children were present. Source: Centre For Non Violence Bendigo, April 2013

Report 2011

Report 2013

CHILD PROTECTION NOTIFICATIONS (AGED 0-8) 12

CHILD PROTECTION NOTIFICATIONS (AGED 0-8) 14

BENDIGO BENDIGO

BENDIGO

CHILD PROTECTION RE-NOTIFICATIONS (AGED UP TO 8 YEARS) 13

CHILD PROTECTION RE-NOTIFICATIONS (AGED UP TO 8 YEARS)

VICTORIA 31%

DATA NOT AVAILABLE

600

739

BENDIGO BENDIGO 36%%

Time trend: Fewer re-notifications 2006/7 to 2008/9 Child Protection notifications refer to allegations made to an authorised department by persons or other bodies of child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment or harm to a child (note: these are notified not substantiated cases). There were 739 reports to Child Protection in Greater Bendigo in 2009/10, compared with 600 in 2008/9. A client is classified as re-notified if a prior notification was made in the past 12 months. While the total number of notifications has increased between 2006/7 to 2008/9, the percentage of re-notifications decreased from 68 per cent to 55 per cent. Data for Child Protection re-notifications (up to 8 years) was not available at the time of publishing this report. Note: It is acknowledged that this indicator will be sensitive to changes in reporting practice. An increase in incidents may reflect a better detection of cases rather than an increase in crimes.

Key population groups affected: low income, substance abuse, mental health issues and the burdens of sole parenting, have been identified as factors that lead some families to contact with child protection systems (DEECD 2009c).

Reflection

fects f e e h t m o r f n e r rotect child p r e t t e b o t g in xposure isation do e n a g g r in o w r o ll u o o f y g is n li t a Wha them in he t r o p p u s r e t t e of violence and b 13 to this violence?


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT VICTIMS OF CRIME Physical and sexual assault can have complex short and long term negative effects on the physical and psychological health of children and young people. These include depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and diminished educational, social and economic attainment in adulthood (DEECD 2010; AIHW 2010). These experiences in childhood can also increase the risk of some victims becoming a perpetrators later in life (AIHW 2010).

Report 2013

Report 2011 POLICE REPORTS OF YOUNG ASSAULT VICTIMS (AGED 0 TO 17) 15

POLICE REPORTS OF YOUNG ASSAULT VICTIMS (AGED 0 TO 17) 16

BENDIGO BENDIGO

BENDIGO

68

137

Time trend: Increased from 2001 to 2005 and then fluctuating to 2010

Time trend: Increase from 2010/11

In 2013 there was 138 children and adolescents (under 17 years) reported by police as the victims of assault (including family violence) in Greater Bendigo in 2011/12. Police reports of young assault victims has almost doubled from 2009/10 to 2011/12. Indicator currency: 2011/12. Note: It is acknowledged that this indicator will be sensitive to changes in reporting practice. An increase in incidents may reflect a better detection of cases rather than an increase in crimes.

Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

Number of police reports of young assault victims (aged 0 to 17) 2001/2 to 2011/12 2001/2 33

2002/3

2003/4

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

2007/8

2008/9

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

37

32

48

67

80

65

88

68

95

137

An increase in incidents may reflect a better detection of cases rather than an increase in crimes Report 2011

Report 2013

SEXUAL ASSAULT CLIENTS (CASA) 17

SEXUAL ASSAULT CLIENTS (CASA) 18

BENDIGO BENDIGO

BENDIGO

332

Time trend: Increased 2008/9 to 2009/10

294

Time trend: decreased 2010/11 to 2011/12

A total of 294 children and adolescents under 18 years received counselling services at the Loddon Mallee region’s Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) in 2011/12. The number of young clients the centre has counselled decreased from 435 children and adolescents under 18 years in 2010/11 to 294 clients in the same age group in 2011/12. Comparatively, while the number of clients in these age groups has decreased since 2009/10, children and young people continue to make up 43 per cent of the centre’s sexual assault clients. Indicator currency: 2011/12 Note: It is acknowledged that this indicator will be sensitive to changes in reporting practice. An increase in incidents may reflect a better detection of cases rather than an increase in crimes.

Key population groups affected: currently not reported. 14


ADOLESCENTS ARE SECURELY HOUSED

Homelessness in young people can have negative social and health consequences including high rates of mental health problems, behavioural disorders and disrupted schooling (Karim et al. 2006; Yu et al. 2008). Homeless young people are at increased risk of assault, poor nutrition and inadequate shelter, and are more likely to engage in risky behaviours (AIHW 2010).

Report 2011

Report 2013

UNREASONABLE TO LIVE AT HOME

UNREASONABLE TO LIVE AT HOME

BENDIGO

DATA NOT AVAILABLE

92

Time trend: Decreased 2006 to 2010

An indicator of youth homelessness is the number of young people (aged 15 to 18 years) who, at any point in time, receive a special Centrelink Independent Youth Allowance entitled ‘unreasonable to live at home’. In Bendigo, this number has reduced from 144 in 2006 to 92 in 2010. Data for young people in Bendigo LGA in receipt of this special payment was

FAMILIES ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE

The families that are solely or largely dependent on government for their income have the lowest incomes and fewest resources. Children from these families are likely to be deprived of items considered essential by Australian standards including access to medical and dental treatment, a substantial meal once a day, school activities and outings, secure housing and warm clothes and bedding (Saunders & Wong 2009). The lack of these resources means children from very low income households are more likely to face lower achievement in education, have worse future economic prospects and have poorer health outcomes (DEECD 2010; AIHW 2010). In addition, children in welfare dependant families are more likely to get caught in a cycle of intergenerational disadvantage and welfare dependency (Australian Government 2010).

Report 2011 CHILDREN IN LOW INCOME FAMILIES 19

VICTORIA 21%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 24%%

Time trend: Stable June 2006 – June 2008

Report 2013 CHILDREN IN LOW INCOME FAMILIES 20

VICTORIA 20%

BENDIGO 24%

Time trend: Stable June 2009

In 2009 24.3 per cent (5236) of children under 16 years in Greater Bendigo lived in families that were either solely or largely dependent on government for their income and other resources. This proportion remained stable since 2006 (25 per cent, 5192). Indicator currency: June quarter 2009 (updated March 2013 Social Health Atlas of Victoria LGA). Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

Report 2013

Report 2011 CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLDS WHERE ADULTS HAVE JOBS 21

CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLDS WHERE ADULTS HAVE JOBS 22

VICTORIA 82%

VICTORIA 87%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 83%%

Time trend: Unknown

BENDIGO 84%

Time trend: Increased 2006 to 2011

It was found that 16 per cent of children under 16 years live in jobless households in 2011 compared to 17 per cent in 2006. Key population groups affected: currently not reported.


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

Indicators for a Child Friendly ‘built’ environment The ‘built’ environment is an important intervention point for improving health and wellbeing for children and young people. Outdoor environments provide places to play, socialise, be physically active, have fun, ‘hang out’, be in contact with nature, and be free from the encumbrances of an increasingly adult world. In the 2006 a New South Wales Parliamentary Inquiry into Children, Young People and the Built Environment found childrens’ needs were often ignored or overlooked in environmental planning. Building on the inquiry, the NSW Commission for Children & Young Peoples wrote a resource, ‘Built 4 Kids’. It includes a set of indicators to help monitor and improve the built environment for kids, as well as case studies giving real-life examples of how children and young people have contributed to developing their local built environment.

Project update 2013 Since the previous 2011 State of Bendigo’s Children Report, the City of Greater Bendigo council has embarked on a project that selected two case study sites to actively engage children in the planning of built and natural environments as they are developed. These case studies tested a range of community indicators modelled on ‘Built 4 Kids’. The aim of the project was to employ and validate specific approaches that can measurably influence the design and build the city in line with its status as the only formally recognised Child Friendly City in Australia. The two sites selected were at Eaglehawk and central Bendigo. The project provided the council with data about primary and secondary school children’s use, views and feelings about their neighbourhood. The research outcomes demonstrated that children and young people preferred: • Bright, active environments and those with higher levels of visual aesthetic • Quieter streets with lower volumes of traffic, which also made them feel safe • Main streets and shopping areas featuring specialised food, clothing and sports shops • Parkland settings, places with flowers, trees, grass and shrubs. A need for more green elements in their environments • Areas away from rubbish, alcohol and aggression • Places where more areas provide shade, seating, drinking fountains, clean public toilets and adequate lighting • Places where graffiti appears as artwork, instead of ‘tagging’ that resembles vandalism • Source City of Greater Bendigo 2013

16


Homeless young people are at increased risk of assault, poor nutrition and inadequate shelter, and are more likely to engage in risky behaviours - AIHW 2010.


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

ENGAGED, LEARNING, ACHIEVING

,

Children and young people who fail to engage in school work or further education/training risk school failure unemployment risky health behaviours and mental health problems social exclusion and economic and social disadvantage over the longer term.

,

,

,

,

– Public Health Information Development Unit, University of Adelaide

FAMILIES SUPPORTIVE OF LEARNING Parent and adult support of formal learning at home, such as reading, having an interest and enthusiasm for school, helping with homework, ensuring children have eaten breakfast, improves school achievement and completion. It decreases class-cutting and behavioural problems, including worried/upset behaviour. (Desforges & Abouchaar 2003; DCSF 2008). Parental support of learning at home has a greater impact on school success than schooling itself at the primary level, and continues to have influence in older children, although by that age this is largely on aspirations and staying at school (Desforges & Abouchaar 2003). Parental participation in school also impacts on success at school particularly through encouraging engagement (by modelling positive attitudes towards school). This enables parents to better understand the school environment and helps them support their children’s choices in learning and to negotiate the school environment (Desforges & Abouchaar 2003).

Report 2011

Report 2013

PARENTS READING TO CHILDREN AT HOME 23

PARENTS READING TO CHILDREN AT HOME

DATA GAP

DATA GAP

In Victoria, data about parental support of learning at home is not collected in any routine LGA data collection. A question was asked in a state wide survey in 2006 and it found 43 per cent of children aged under 13 years were reportedly read to by parents almost every day. Younger children were read to more frequently than older children (DEECD 2010). Update available 2014

Report 2011 PARENTS PARTICIPATING IN SCHOOLS 24

VICTORIA 49%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 57%%

Report 2013 PARENTS PARTICIPATING IN SCHOOLS

DATA NOT AVAILABLE

Time trend: Unknown – first data collection 2008 It was found that 57 per cent of parents of school-aged children in Bendigo, participate in their child’s school. Updated data is not yet available. Indicator currency: 2008. Next data collection 2013 Key population groups affected: rates of parental participation are lower in parents that were born overseas, public housing tenants, and lower socio-economic families. 18


CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED IN KINDERGARTEN Kindergarten has been shown to develop children’s social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and language abilities, encourage family involvement in learning and help prepare for the transition to school (McCain et al. 2007). In the long term it has been linked to improved literacy and numeracy, higher self-esteem, better employment prospects and improved health outcomes (DEECD 2009b).

Report 2011

Report 2013

KINDERGARTEN ATTENDANCE AT AGE 4 25

KINDERGARTEN ATTENDANCE AT AGE 4 26

VICTORIA 95%

VICTORIA 98%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 94%%

Time trend: Improved since 2006

BENDIGO 103%

Time trend: Improved 2010 to 2012

In Greater Bendigo, 103 per cent of four-year-olds attended kindergarten in 2012. This accounts for children in attendance at multiple kindergarten sites or not living in Greater Bendigo but attending kindergarten within the municipality. Kindergarten attendance continues to improve from 88 per cent in 2006 to 94 per cent in 2010, to 103 per cent in 2012. The current rate of participation for children in Greater Bendigo is higher than the Victorian average which is 98 per cent. While data is identified as attendance data, there is no data available for the number of days children attend kindergarten. Indicator currency: 2012 Key population groups affected: children from low socio-economic, single parent, or indigenous families and those that have a disability attend kindergarten less (DEECD 2009a).

Parental participation in school also impacts on success at school ...

Skills shortages in early childcare and family support workers in Greater Bendigo remain the same since the last report Improving conditions for children and young people in Bendigo in part will depend on families having access to high quality health professions, welfare workers and teachers. In 2011 there was a skill shortage in these professions in Greater Bendigo. The situation remains the same in 2013. Source: Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development: Live in Victoria website: www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/working-and-employment/

19


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ACHIEVING AT SCHOOL Formal education helps people develop a sense of themselves and others and fosters a creative and innovative culture. Success at school is also associated with economic and social success and offers a pathway out of disadvantage through better jobs, higher incomes and enhanced social welfare.


Report 2011 STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 3 27

VICTORIA 98%

BENDIGO 98%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 5

VICTORIA 94%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 95%%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 7

VICTORIA 96%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 95%%

Report 2013 STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 3 28

VICTORIA 95%

BENDIGO 93%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 5

VICTORIA 92%

BENDIGO 90%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 7

VICTORIA 94%

BENDIGO 94%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 9

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN READING Yr 9

VICTORIA 93%

VICTORIA 92%

BENDIGO 91%

BENDIGO 92%

Note: NAPLAN data is for all schools not just Government schools as previously reported in 2009. It excludes students who were categorised as exempt, withdrawn or absent. In 2011, the NAPLAN Writing Test introduced a persuasive writing task in place of the previous requirement of a narrative to be written in response to a prompt. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) expert measurement advisory group has advised that attempts to align the scales would lead to inappropriate conclusions being drawn concerning changes over time in the proficiency of cohorts of students. As such, the results for writing in 2011 should not be compared with results for writing in previous years. Therefore the 2011 results for writing have not been included in this report.

The inclusion of numeracy standards is an addition to this report ...

21


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

Report 2013

Report 2013

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN WRITING Yr 3

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN WRITING Yr 5

VICTORIA 96%

VICTORIA 94%

BENDIGO 95%

BENDIGO 91%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN WRITING Yr 7

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN WRITING Yr 9

VICTORIA 92%

VICTORIA 84%

BENDIGO 90%

BENDIGO 81%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN NUMERACY Yr 3

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN NUMERACY Yr 5

VICTORIA 95%

VICTORIA 94%

BENDIGO 94%

BENDIGO 92%

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN NUMERACY Yr 7

STUDENTS MEETING NATIONAL STANDARDS IN NUMERACY Yr 9

VICTORIA 95%

VICTORIA 95%

BENDIGO 95%

BENDIGO 95%

Note: NAPLAN data is for all schools not just government schools as previously reported in 2009. It excludes students who were categorised as exempt, withdrawn or absent. The above indicators create a snapshot of four school cohorts and do not report how students fare over time. This means they do not show that some students are getting worse or better with increasing years at school. Time trends will need to follow each cohort through the four stages. Only a very small proportion of children in Year 3 did not meet reading standards (2 per cent) in 2010. The 2012 data includes all schools, not just Government schools as previously reported. It indicates that 7 per cent of children in Year 3 in Greater Bendigo did not meet reading standards, while 8 per cent of children in Year 9 did not meet reading standards in 2012. The inclusion of numeracy standards is an addition to this report and will provide baseline data to follow each cohort through the four stages in reading, writing and numeracy. Indicator currency: 2012 Key population groups affected: not currently available.

Success at school … offers a pathway out of disadvantage through better jobs, higher incomes and enhanced social welfare 22


A Child Friendly City does more than smile at children. It translates to a city that works to ensure children thrive

Report 2011

Report 2013

STUDENTS ARE POSITIVE ABOUT SCHOOL

STUDENTS ARE POSITIVE ABOUT SCHOOL

DATA GAP

VICTORIA

This data is being collected by schools in Bendigo and a request has been made to fill this data gap.

3.85

BENDIGO

3.82

This remains a data gap as all schools in Bendigo are not yet represented by the findings. However, the Attitude to School Survey conducted annually by all government schools, asks students to report their feeling of connectedness to their school on a five-point scale. In 2012 the students in Bendigo reported the same level of feeling connected to their school as the state average 3.82 Bendigo, and 3.85 Victoria. 29 Figures above compare to a five-point scale.

23


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET AT HOME The internet is becoming increasingly important in an economy shifting from manufacturing to services. Children who do not grow up familiar with computers and the internet may find their employment prospects significantly curtailed. In addition, not having the internet may deprive young people of learning and social activities that are considered normal among their peers, i.e. social media.

Report 2011

Report 2013

CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLDS WITH INTERNET 30

CHILDREN IN HOUSEHOLDS WITH INTERNET 31

VICTORIA 79%

VICTORIA 80%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 75%%

Time trend: Unknown – available 2011

BENDIGO 76%

Time trend: increase 2011

One quarter of households with children in Greater Bendigo did not have internet at home in 2006. There has been a slight increase in households with internet from 2006 to 2011. Anecdotal evidence suggests children now have internet access on smart phones and devices, and more internet access when attending schools and kindergartens than in previous years. Indicator currency: 2011 Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ENGAGED IN LEARNING OR EARNING Education and employment are key pathways to economic and social success. Employed people are healthier, have greater self-esteem, less contact with the justice system and a better standard of living.

Report 2011

Report 2013

LEARNING OR EARNING AT AGE 15 32

LEARNING OR EARNING AT AGE 15 33

VICTORIA 83%

VICTORIA 84%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 80%%

Time trend: Unknown – next collection 2011

BENDIGO 81%

Time trend: Decrease to 2011

In the 2011 census, 19 per cent (1229) of the 15 to 19-year-olds in Greater Bendigo were neither in school, work or further education or training compared to 20 per cent (1403) at the 2006 census count. Indicator currency: 2011 – next collection 2016 Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

Report 2011

Report 2013

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT (AGED 15 -19) 34

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT (AGED 15 -19) 35

VICTORIA

VICTORIA

15%

Time trend: Unknown

BENDIGO BENDIGO

15%

Indicator currency: 2006

4%

BENDIGO 7%

Time trend: Unknown Indicator currency: 2009 (released March 2011, next release 2013)

The report reveals that 15 per cent of young people aged 15 to 19 years in Bendigo were unemployed in 2006. While youth unemployment was around twice that of adult unemployment (6.5 per cent), it was an improvement compared to 2001 when 19 per cent of young people were unemployed.In 2009, 7 per cent of young people aged 15 to 19 years were unemployed. While there is an improvement in the number of young people employed since the last report this number still remains around twice that of the State (4 per cent) for the same period. Key population groups affected: currently not reported.


HAPPY AND HEALTHY

,

[Childhood] is a time of play and learning in which they are loved respected and cherished … in which their wellbeing is paramount and in which they can develop in health peace and dignity.

,

,

– United Nations

CHILDREN HAVE A HEALTHY CHILDHOOD Healthy eating is essential for a child’s growth and development and long-term health (UNICEF 2010). Eating too much food is associated with a wide range of immediate and long-term health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, children that go with without food are at increased risk of anxiety, hunger and a lack of energy whicht could affect their ability to learn (VicHealth 2005). Paradoxically, there is evidence that links food insecurity in the long term to obesity, particularly in women (DEECD 2010).

Report 2013

Report 2011 NOT OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE

DATA GAP

NOT OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE

DATA GAP

In Victoria, data about children and young people’s weight is not collected in any routine LGA data collection.

Report 2013

Report 2011 REGULAR ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD 36

DATA GAP

REGULAR ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD 37

DATA GAP

In Victoria, data about children’s regular access to healthy food is not collected in any routine LGA data collection. However, the Adolescent Community Profiles for the City of Greater Bendigo reports that in 2009, 17 per cent of adolescents were eating the minimum recommended serves of fruit and vegetables each day. This was reported as lower than the proportion reported across Victoria of 19 per cent. Indicator currency 2009 Time trend: unknown - next collection 2013

Play spaces/open spaces The City of Greater Bendigo currently manages 115 different formal play spaces across the municipality, ranging from small local play spaces containing one swing set through to regional play spaces with extensive equipment and amenities, such as the Lake Weeroona playground. There are many other places outdoors where young people play that do not contain formal playground equipment, including sports ovals, bush land reserves, streets and backyards. Source: Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan Livability Fact Sheet December 2012

25


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A PHYSICALLY ACTIVE CHILDHOOD

Physical activity promotes physical and mental wellbeing and has been linked to the development of resilience, confidence and autonomy (Woolcock and Steele 2008). It also helps children learn motor skills, social play skills and is an important way children learn to develop relationships with other children (Woolcock and Steele 2008).

Report 2011

DATA GAP

OPPORTUNITIES TO PLAY

Report 2013 OPPORTUNITIES TO PLAY

DATA GAP 38

In 2009, 13 per cent of adolescents surveyed in Greater Bendigo did the recommended amount of physical activity every day. This was higher than the proportion reported across Victoria, which was 12 per cent. Unfortunately the same data is not yet available for children. Time trend: unknown - next collection 2013 Australia’s physical activity guidelines state that children and young people should not spend more than two hours a day using electronic media for entertainment, particularly during daylight hours. The use of electronic media is usually a sedentary activity and watching TV for more than two hours per day has been associated with being overweight, having poor fitness, smoking and raised cholesterol in adulthood.39 In 2009, 62 per cent of adolescents surveyed in Greater Bendigo used electronic media for more than two hours a day. This proportion was higher than the proportion reported across Victoria (58 per cent), the difference is not significant.

Report 2011

DATA GAP

PARENTS WHO ARE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE 40

Report 2013

DATA GAP

PARENTS WHO ARE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

In Victoria, data about family’s physical activity is not collected in any routine LGA data collection. A question about physical activity was asked in the Victorian Population Health Survey in 2008 and it found 57 per cent of residents in Greater Bendigo, and 64 per cent of Victorian’s overall, were meeting physical activity guidelines. Unfortunately this cannot be broken down to parents of children in Greater Bendigo.

Report 2011

DATA GAP

ACTIVE/MOBILE AROUND THEIR COMMUNITIES

Report 2013

DATA GAP

ACTIVE/MOBILE AROUND THEIR COMMUNITIES

In Victoria, data about children and young people being active around their communities is not collected in any routine local government collection. However since the last report Bendigo has participated in an international research project focusing on children and their physical activity through personal mobility and children’s experiences of urban environment. The findings conclude that children and young people have greater independent mobility closer to home, and in places that are more strongly associated with children – schools, parks and friend’s houses. The relationship between distance to school and independent mobility has been noted in other studies.

The Healthy Communities initiative in Bendigo The Healthy Communities initiative is one of 14 pilot programs in local government areas by the Victorian Government to improve population health, particularly through reduction of obesity and increase in physical activity. Greater Bendigo has received $4.3M over three years to implement this population wide initiative, in partnership with Bendigo Community Health Services. It uses the Prevention Community Model (PCM), which is based on international best-practice, and will be thoroughly evaluated. The unit will focus on: • Offering a range of programs that provide skills and support for achieving better health • Supporting prevention partnerships within the Greater Bendigo community • Supporting community engagement and participation in determining local solutions • Supporting health promoting policies and programs in schools and workplaces • Tailoring health messages to local circumstances and needs • Contributing to research and evaluation


Children’s experience of the urban environment in Bendigo

Bendigo participated in a Finnish-Australian research project since the last Report. The study was part of an international research project, ‘Everyday Urbanity’ conducted in Aalto University, Finland. It focused on children and their physical activity through personal mobility and on children’s subjective experiences of urban environments. The aim was for children and young people to identify the places they like and do not like, how they feel in these places, and the things that affect their feelings in the places they identified. The results provided an insight into children’s perceived wellbeing and activities as follows: • It was found that 90 per cent of children 8 to 12 years, and 93 per cent of children 13 to 15 years, said they feel quite or very happy about their life at the moment. • The project revealed that 87 per cent of primary and 73 per cent of secondary school children say their health is either good or excellent. • More than one third of the respondents within both age groups spend time watching TV, videos or playing computer games one to two hours a day. Within primary school children every fifth and within secondary school children still more than every third say they spend two to four hours per day watching TV, videos or playing computer games. • Most of the children and young people reported they participate in organised activities on one to four days a week. While 92 per cent of primary school children and 89 per cent of secondary school children reported they exercise or play in their free time, so much that they get out of breath or sweat more than three hours per week, only 39 per cent of primary and 26 per cent of the secondary school respondents say that they exercise to this extent more than seven hours per week. Based on the recommendations, children aged 5 to 18 years need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, these outcomes suggest that children and young people are not very physically active. • Children and young people value their urban spaces and places for what they offer in terms of interesting activities to do, people to meet and socialise with, and for feeling good. The diversity of spaces and places available for children and young people to access is also important, as indicated by the variety of places children and young people identified, and their reasons for identifying them. Source: City of Greater Bendigo 2013

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY Community participation enriches the social networks that support children and young people and provide them with a feeling of belonging, which promotes social and mental wellbeing (Brooks 2007; Muir et al. 2009). Community activity is an also an avenue through which children develop relationships with others and build their resilience, confidence and autonomy.

Report 2011

DATA GAP

ACTIVE/MOBILE AROUND THEIR COMMUNITIES

Report 2013

DATA GAP

ACTIVE/MOBILE AROUND THEIR COMMUNITIES

In Victoria, data about children and young people being involved in activities outside of school is not collected in any routine LGA data collection.


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

FAMILIES HAVE TIME FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Family time spent with children and young people is important for development and wellbeing. Parental time builds and maintains balanced routines and provides opportunities for activities such as reading to children, physical activity and socialising. Time can be impacted on by inflexible work including long work hours, inflexible work schedules, working unsocial hours and long commutes to and from work. Time can also be affected by being the sole caregiver that is also responsible for the family income.

Report 2011

Report 2013

GOOD WORK–LIFE BALANCE 41

GOOD WORK–LIFE BALANCE 42

VICTORIA 53%

VICTORIA 53%

BENDIGO BENDIGO 43%%

Time trend: Unknown – first data collection 2007, next collection 2011

BENDIGO 43%

Indicator currency: 2007 and 2011

It was found that 57 per cent of adults in Bendigo reported that work and family life interfere with each other in 2007. This is a larger proportion than for Victoria as a whole (47 per cent). These figures have remained consistent to 2011. Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

Report 2011

Report 2013

CHILDREN IN SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES 43

CHILDREN IN SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES 44

VICTORIA 15%

VICTORIA 15%

BENDIGO 18%

Time trend: Stable trend 2001 – 2006

Reflection

How can we gather accurate information in our community about children feeling they are supported by positive adult relationships?

Work-life balance

A Work-Life balance was measured in the 2011 VicHealth Indicators Survey. Employed respondents were asked whether they agreed that ‘their work and family life often interfere with each other’. It was found that 42.4 per cent of employed persons living in Greater Bendigo disagreed or strongly disagreed that their work and family life often interfere with each other, and felt that they had a good balance of work and family. This is compared to 46.7 per cent in the Loddon Mallee Region and the Victorian state average of 53.1 per cent. Source Community Indicators Victoria 2012

BENDIGO 18%

Time trend: Stable trend 2001 – 2011 Data revealed that 18 per cent of families in Greater Bendigo were single-parent families in 2011, the same proportion as in 2006, but a higher proportion than for Victoria as a whole (15 per cent). Of these, 17 per cent of single parents were male and 83.3 per cent were female. Indicator Currency: 2011 Key population groups affected: single parent families in Victoria are nearly twice as likely to be headed by females or be headed by Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders and public housing tenants (DEECD 2010).

Reflection

In what ways can community support families to function well?


ADOLESCENTS HAVE GOOD MENTAL HEALTH Good mental health in young people is a precursor to good social development, success at school and improved life chances. It is protective against suicide, self-harm, involvement in crime and mental illness later in life (AIHW 2010).

Report 2011

Report 2013

ADOLESCENTS HAVE GOOD MENTAL HEALTH

ADOLESCENTS HAVE GOOD MENTAL HEALTH 45

DATA GAP

VICTORIA 61%

Time trend: unknown

BENDIGO 56%

In Victoria, data about the mental health of children and young people is not collected by any routine LGA data collection. The Adolescent Community Profiles 2010 report that in 2009, 56 per cent of adolescents surveyed in Greater Bendigo had positive psychological development. This was significantly lower than that reported across Victoria (61 per cent). Indicator Currency 2010; Next data collection 2013

CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES ARE SUPPORTED BY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Positive relationships provide children and young people with practical help, material goods, learning opportunities and emotional support. These resources provide the foundations for moving ‘out into the world’, learning new skills, taking on challenges and exploring roles and experiences (Pope & Warr 2005).

Report 2011

Report 2013

DATA GAP

DATA GAP

SUPPORTED BY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

SUPPORTED BY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

The Adolescent Community Profiles (2010) reports that 80 per cent of adolescents surveyed in Greater Bendigo were living in families with healthy functioning. This was lower than, but not significantly different to that reported across Victoria (83 per cent).46 Indicator Currency 2010; Next data collection 2013

DATA GAP

PARENTS NOT SOCIALLY ISOLATED

DATA GAP PARENTS NOT SOCIALLY ISOLATED

In Victoria, data about family’s physical activity is not collected in any routine LGA data collection. A question about social isolation however, was asked in the Victorian Population Health Survey in 2008 and found 6 per cent of residents in Greater Bendigo, and 8 per cent of Victorian’s overall, were potentially socially isolated (could not get help from friends family and neighbours when needed). Unfortunately this data cannot be broken down to parents of children in Greater Bendigo. No updated data is available at the time of publishing.

Bendigo headspace

Opened in 2012, headspace provides early intervention mental health support and advice to young people aged 12 to 25. A range of skilled professionals such social and youth workers, sexual health workers, alcohol and other drug workers provide free support. These workers are skilled in listening to young people and help identify problems, goals and achieve creative solutions to issues.

headspace can help young people with: • general health • mental health • alcohol and other drugs • relationships • accommodation • education and training • sexual health • social activities

29


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

ACTIVE CITIZENS Respecting children as citizens can help to build safe humane and responsive communities

,

,

– Anne B Smith, Marion Langer Award Lecture 2010

In order to create a city that is ‘Child Friendly’, children and young people must have a voice in the decisions made about their communities. This means decision making organisations need to see them as citizens with the right to express needs, potentials and expectations (Wilks 2010). Organisations must find appropriate ways for them to have input. Participation will also require that children and young people have the skills, confidence and sense of responsibility that comes with a strong education system and engagement with public life (clubs, sport, volunteering). Ensuring a voice in decision making will not only improve life for children and young people, but will build stronger communities overall (Smith 2010).

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CIVICALLY ENGAGED Report 2011

Report 2013

YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL THEY HAVE A SAY IN THEIR COMMUNITY

YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL THEY HAVE A SAY IN THEIR COMMUNITY

DATA GAP

DATA GAP

The City of Greater Bendigo promotes and undertakes consultation with children and youth to hear their views and opinions across all areas including children and youth services, planning and strategy units.

,

30

,

,

If children are visible invited to participate and when their voices are heard they are much more capable of participating ... The dominant construction of children as vulnerable problematic or incomplete beings should be replaced by a view of children as competent and active participants in communities – Anne B Smith, Marion Langer Award Lecture 2010

,

,

,


Children and young people have a say in their community Community engagement was undertaken to determine a preferred play space for the Bendigo Hargreaves Mall. It was a positive example of civic engagement of young people in decision making and the democratic rights of young people determining the outcome. More than 2500 children voted in 2012 following a call for input into the selection of a play space for the mall with three designs sent to the prep and grade one children of every school in Bendigo. Each design came complete with a story and the children were asked to vote by placing a sticker on their preferred design. A ‘red dragon design’ attracted more than 1800 votes. This winning result meant the red dragon design was built. Over 800 of the children who voted for the design attended its official launch in March 2013. Consultation was conducted with primary and secondary school children in the Eaglehawk area in relation to planning for the Eaglehawk precinct; consultation with children has also been undertaken in relation to the City of Greater Bendigo Family Violence Strategy and presently consultation is part of the process in reviewing the Health and Wellbeing Plan.

The largest ever Youth Development Strategy survey was recently conducted by the City of Greater Bendigo with 2278 young people. Two in every eight young people aged 12 to 25 years living in Greater Bendigo completed the survey. Areas covered in the youth strategy survey included: • What young people like most about living in Greater Bendigo • Where young people intend to live in the future (and why) • The issues that most concern young people • What young people would like to change in Greater Bendigo to make it a better place for young people • Types of opportunities or events young people would like to see in Greater Bendigo • Source of information most used by young people • When and where young people experience trouble with transport The outcomes of this survey are currently being collated. Source: City Greater Bendigo 2013

FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY MODEL GOOD CITIZENSHIP Report 2011

Report 2013

ADULTS ARE MEMBERS OF ORGANISED GROUPS 47

VICTORIA

61%

ADULTS ARE MEMBERS OF ORGANISED GROUPS

BENDIGO 57%

DATA GAP

Time trend: Unknown, next collection 2011 It was found that 57 per cent of adults in Greater Bendigo are the members of an organised group such as a sports, church, community or professional group. No updated data is currently available. Indicator Currency: 2008 Key population groups affected: currently not reported.

Reflection

ren’s

org r o b lu c , d o o h r eighbou How can our n pinions? o s ’ le p o e p g n u and yo

to child n e t s li r e t t e b anisation

31


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

Reviewing policies from a child’s perspective Since the last Report, the City of Greater Bendigo has conducted a desktop review of its policies and strategies to determine how meaningful the Rights of Children have been considered and to provide a benchmark for future initiatives. This critical reflection is intended to embed new thinking into how the City of Greater Bendigo can best meet the needs and aspirations of children as active citizens, and build on the considerable Child Friendly City work already undertaken (under the UNICEF framework with funds from the federal Communities for Children). Since this time, consultation with children is continuously promoted in planning and policy processes. This is evidenced in recent work undertaken for the Heathcote Skate Park, Youth Strategy and Hargreaves Mall Play space. In addition there are a number of future projects that require an understanding of the needs and aspirations of young people including the development of the Municipal Early Years Plan, Arts and Cultural strategy, Recreation Framework and Open Space strategy. These planning processes will be undertaken as part of council’s schedule of works over the next few years. Source: City Greater Bendigo Council 2013

... how the City of Greater Bendigo can best meet the needs and aspirations of children as active citizens ...

Next steps 1. This Report has been developed as a tool for professionals, planners and community members as they seek to improve children’s wellbeing. Agencies, schools, community groups, sports groups and government departments may all benefit from using it in their planning and thinking. 2. A summary version has been developed for use by the broader community. Citizens are encouraged to use the data to promote conversations about our children and our families. The Report can also be used to keep all services accountable for improving the wellbeing of our children. 3. Listening to children’s opinions and supporting their decision making is a priority for Bendigo. This Report uses data available in the public domain but not generally communicated broadly.

32

4. The First Quarter will use the Report to inform its strategic planning processes and directions. 5. The First Quarter will work with academics, government departments and agencies to fill the data gaps. 6. The First Quarter is committed to producing this report every two years with the aim of monitoring its progress and the progress of the wider community in supporting children to develop and thrive.


MORE DATA

Here is a number of data sources you can use for more information about children and young people.

The Victorian child and adolescent monitoring system (vcams) The Office for Children (Victorian government) collates data from a range of sources on the safety, health, development, learning and wellbeing of children and young people in Victoria. Data for Victoria as-a-whole is released in two reports: The State of Victoria’s Children and The State of Victoria’s Young People. The Office is working to create LGA reports and to make their data accessible from the internet. Watch their website for details. www.education.vic.gov.au/about/directions/children/default.htm Growing Up in Australia The Australian Institute of Family Studies Growing Up in Australia reports data from a longitudinal survey based on a nationally representative sample of children (longitudinal surveys follow the same people over time). It provides data at the national and state level on topics such as family functioning, health, children’s development, non-parental childcare and education. A limited amount of information is available online, with more available by order. www.aifs.gov.au/growingup National Survey of Young People Every year Mission Australia runs a survey of around 50 000 young people aged 11 to 24 across Australia. The survey examines their concerns, the issues they identify for the future and how they participate. The surveys provide results for Victoria and the 2001 survey is the ninth in the series. www.missionaustralia.com.au/downloads/214-national-survey-ofyoung-australians

ENDNOTES

http://forecast2.id.com.au City of Greater Bendigo (accessed April 2013) 2 http://forecast2.id.com.au City of Greater Bendigo (accessed April 2013) 3 Australian Early Childhood Development Index 2009, Teacher completed checklist of all children in their first year of school across Victoria. www.aedi. org.au 4 Australian Early Childhood Development Index 2012 www.aedi.org.au 5 Australian Early Childhood Development Index 2012 www.aedi.org.au 6 Sourced from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Office for Children & Portfolio Coordination, 2009 7 Maternal & Child Health Service Annual Report 2011-2012. http:// www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/earlychildhood/mch/ report10annuallmr.pdf 8 Playgroups Victoria website: www.playgroup.org.au/ 9 City of Greater Bendigo, Family Services, 2013 10 Victoria Police Crime Statistics: www.police.vic.gov.au/content. asp?Document_ID=782 11 Victoria Police Crime Statistics: www.police.vic.gov.au 12 North Central Family Services Alliance Needs Analysis, November 2009. 13 North Central Family Services Alliance Needs Analysis, November 2009. 14 Client Relationship Information system - DEECD 15 Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) data Request to Victoria Police Corporate Statistics Unit http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content. asp?Document_ID=782 16 Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) data: Request to Victoria Police Corporate Statistics Unit March 2013 17 Centre Against Sexual Assault, Loddon Campaspe Region. Annual Report 2008-09. www.casa.org.au 18 Centre Against Sexual Assault, Loddon Campaspe Region. Annual Report 2011-12. www.casa.org.au 19 Public Health Information Development Unit: Social Health Atlas of Australia: Victoria, using data from Centrelink, June 2008 and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2008: www.publichealth.gov.au 20 Public Health Information Development Unit: Social Health Atlas of Australia: Victoria, using data from Centrelink, June 2009 and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2009 www.publichealth.gov.au 21 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas of Australia; Victoria, using 2006 Census data www.publichealth.gov.au 22 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas of Australia; Victoria, using 2011 Census data www.publichealth.gov.au 23 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; Victorian Child Health and Wellbeing Survey 2006 http://www.education.vic.gov.au/ researchinnovation/vcams/ 24 DPCD Indicators of Community Strength collected as part of the Department of Health Victorian Population Health Survey 2008 1

The Australian Bureau of Statistics The Australian Bureau of Statistics website gives you access to a vast array of free data about Victoria from a range of surveys. Some data is available at the LGA level (such as census data and unemployment estimates). www.abs.gov.au The Social and Health Atlases of Australia Public Health Information Development Unit The Unit creates online and hard copy atlases of social and health data. It collates data from a range of sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics collections and the national health data collections. The group has an interest in child health and wellbeing but have only created child specific atlases for South Australia to date. The interactive mapping website is a good way to find fast stats about LGAs. www.publichealth.gov.au Community Indicators Victoria The University of Melbourne’s CIV compiles data from a range of sources to create wellbeing reports of 70 indicators for LGAs under five themes: Healthy, Safe and Inclusive Communities; Dynamic, Resilient Local Economies; Sustainable Built and Natural Environments; Culturally Rich and Vibrant Communities; and Democratic and Engaged Communities. It currently contains little child specific data but can provide context about the LGA. www.communityindicators.net.au Sourced from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; Office for Children & Portfolio Coordination, 2009. 26 Sourced from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development; Office for Children & Portfolio Coordination, 2013. 27 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data; Sourced from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009 28 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data. Sourced from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2012 29 DEECD Attitudes to School Survey Results, 2012 30 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Census of Population and Housing data; www.abs.gov.au 31 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) 2011 Census of Housing and Population: Basic Community Profile www.abs.gov.au 32 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas: Victoria. 2006 Census data; www.publichealth.gov.au 33 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas: Victoria. 2011 Census data (released January 2013) www.publichealth.gov.au 34 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas: Victoria. 2006 Census data; www.publichealth.gov.au 35 Public Health Information Development Unit, Social Health Atlas: Victoria. 2011 Census data (released March 2011) www.publichealth.gov.au 36 Department of Health, Victorian Population Health Survey 2008 http:// www.health.vic.gov.au/healthstatus/vphs_current.htm 37 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Survey, 2010 38 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Survey, 2010 39 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Adolescent Community Profiles, 2010 (Version 2, 2011) 40 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS) 2008 http://www. education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/vcams/ 41 Community Indicators Victoria, Bendigo Wellbeing Report 2009; www. communityindicators.net.au/wellbeing_reports 42 Community Indicators Victoria, Bendigo Wellbeing Report 2012; www. communityindicators.net.au/wellbeing_reports 43 Census 2006; Census 2001, ABS 44 Census 2011; ABS Quick stats 45 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Adolescent Community Profiles, City of Greater Bendigo 2010 (Version 2, 2011) 46 Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Adolescent Community Profiles, City of Greater Bendigo 2010 (Version 2, 2011) 47 DPCD Indicators of Community Strength collected as part of the 33 Department of Health Victorian Population Health Survey 2008 25


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

REFERENCES AEDI (Australian Early Childhood Development Index) (2010) Victorian Results from the Australian Early Development Index 2009: statistical local area mapping supplement. DEECD: Melbourne. AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2010) Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians: indicator framework and key national indicators. March 2010. Cat. No. AUS 123. AIHW: Canberra. Australian Government (2009) A Compendium of Social Inclusion Indicators. How’s Australia faring? Australian Government: Canberra. Available at www.socialinclusion.gov.au Accessed December 2010. Australian Government (2010) Social Inclusion: Helping jobless families with children. Australian Government: Canberra. Available at http:// www.socialinclusion.gov.au/Initiatives/Pages/joblessfamilies.aspx Accessed December 2010. Bromfield L & Higgins D (2005) Chronic and Isolated Maltreatment in a Child Protection Sample. Family Matters. 70 (Autumn). Available at http://192.135.208.240/institute/pubs/fm2005/fm70/lb.pdf Accessed December 2010. City of Greater Bendigo (2008) Building a Child-Friendly City: Children’s Consultations Final Report. City of Greater Bendigo: Bendigo. Available at http://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au Accessed December 2010. DCSF (Department of Children, Schools and Families) (2008) The impact of parental involvement on children’s education. DCSF: Nottingham. DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) (2009a) The State of Victoria’s children report. DEECD: Melbourne. DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) (2009b) Best Start Supported Playgroups and Parent Groups Initiative. Available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/ecsmanagement/ beststart/outcomes/support.htm Accessed December 2010. DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) (2009c) Best Start Atlas Available at http://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/ edulibrary/public/beststart/bs_atlas2nd-ed.pdf Accessed December 2010. DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) (2010) The Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS) Available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/ vcams/default.htm Accessed December 2010. Desforges C & Abouchaar (2003) The impact of parental support and family education on pupil achievement and adjustment: a literature review. Department for Education and Skills Research Report RR433. Department for Education and Skills Research: Nottingham. DH (Department of Health) (2008) Victorian Population Health Survey. Available at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthstatus/vphs_current. htm Accessed December 2010.

34

DPCD (Department of Planning and Community Development) (2008) Victoria in Future (population projections). DPCD: Melbourne. Available at: http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/home/publications-and-research/urbanand-regional-research/victoria-in-future-2008 Accessed Decembers 2010. Karim K, Tischler V, Gregory P & Vostanis P (2006) Homeless Children and Parents: Short-Term Mental Health Outcome. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 52(5): 477-58. McCain M, Mustard F & Shanker S (2007) Early Years Study 2: Putting Science Into Action. Council for Early Child Development: Toronto. Pascal CE (2009) With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning. Ontario Report to Premier by the Special Advisor on Early Learning. Queen’s Printer for Ontario: Toronto. Pope J & Warr DJ (2005) Strengthening Local Communities: an overview of research examining the benefits of Neighbourhood Houses. DVC: Melbourne. Saunders P & Wong M (2009) Still doing it tough: an update on deprivation and socialexclusion among welfare service clients. Social Policy Research Centre, University ofNew South Wales. www.sprc.unsw. edu.au Accessed December 2010 Smith AB (2010) Marion Langer Award Lecture: Children as Citizens and Partners in Strengthening Communities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 80(1): 103-108. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) (2010) The children left behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world’s richest countries. Innocenti Report Card 9. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre: Florence. Available at http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/ rc9_eng.pdf Accessed December 2010. VicHealth (2005) Healthy Eating: Food Security. Available at http://www. vichealth.vic.gov.au/en/Programs-and-Projects/Healthy-Eating/FoodSecurity.aspx Accessed December 2010. Wilks J (2010) Child-friendly cities: a place for active citizenship in geographical and environmental education. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education. 19(1 Feb): 27. Woolcock G & Steele W (2008) Child-friendly Community Indicators – a literature review. Based on a report prepared by Urban Research Program for NSW Commission for Children & Young People. Griffith University: Brisbane. Yu M, North C, LaVesser P, Osbourne V & Spitznagel E (2008) A comparison study of psychiatric and behaviour disorders and cognitive ability among homeless and housed children. Community and Mental Health Journal 44(1): 1-11.


APPENDIX A: THE AGE OF CHILDREN IN GREATER BENDIGO

Age (years)

POPULATION COUNT OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE, GREATER BENDIGO, 2011 CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS)

Listening to children’s opinions and supporting their decision making is a priority for Bendigo

Males

Females

Persons

0

667

613

1,280

1

668

637

1,325

2

741

643

1,384

3

673

631

1,304

4 0-4 years

755

691

1,446

3,524

3,215

6,739

5

662

651

1,313

6

616

605

1,221

7

631

612

1,243

8

639

602

1,241

9 5-9 years

659

622

1,281

3,207

3,092

6,299

10

717

608

1,325

11

659

623

1,282

12

662

659

1,321

13

726

649

1,375

14 10-14 years

676

690

1,366

3,440

3,229

6,669

709

677

1,386

15 16

737

696

1,433

17

690

707

1,397

18

725

776

1,501

19 15-19 years

711

804

1,515

3,572

3,660

7,323

20 21

741

1,525

727

784 795

22

697

677

1,374

23

647

679

1,326

591 3,403

666 3,601

1,257

24 20-25 years

PROJECTED AGE CHANGES 2006 TO 2026, FOR VICTORIA IN FUTURE, DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Age Group

0-4

5 - 14

15 - 24

25 - 34

35 - 49

50 - 59

60 - 69

70 - 84

85 +

Total

2006 Number

6,015

13,621

14,316

11,558

20,105

12,565

8,462

8,302

1,797

97,741

6.2

14.1

14.8

11.9

20.8

13.0

8.7

8.6

1.9

100.0

7,149

13,967

14,973

12,562

21,053

13,977

11,002

9,183

2,281

106,146

6.7

13.2

14.1

11.8

19.8

13.2

10.4

8.7

2.1

100.0

7,520

15,466

15,537

13,034

22,114

14,978

13,506

10,751

2,799

115,706

6.5

13.4

12.7

10.6

19.0

12.4

11.9

11.0

2.5

100.0

7,709

17,185

15,997

13,306

23,892

15,565

14,972

13,833

3,137

125,597

6.1

13.7

12.7

10.6

19.0

12.4

11.9

11.0

2.5

100.0

7,850

17,834

17,647

13,943

24,989

16,257

15,963

17,002

3,650

135,135

5.6

13.2

13.1

10.3

18.5

12.0

11.8

12.6

2.7

100.0

per cent % 2011 Number per cent % 2016 Number per cent % 2021 Number per cent % 2026 Number per cent %

1,522

7,004

35


THE STATE OF BENDIGO’S CHILDREN REPORT 2013

In a child friendly city …

Communities have …

Well-planned safe environments • Crime rate change 14.5%, 2011/12 • Research reveals that 99% of Greater Bendigo residents feel safe on the street during the day (Vic: 97%) Council develops Child Friendly indicators for the ‘built’ environment addressing: • Healthy neighbourhood design • Quality natural environment • Toxins and pollution • Road safety Quality organisations, services, programs • Young people feel they can access services • Early years provision, including childhood programs, parental capacity programs • Activities to match interests, needs, demography of children and young people • Quality schools and flexible delivery models • Family-friendly schools (forthcoming) • Family support and counselling services Capacity • Planning capacity and allowing time to plan • Information and data • Skills shortages in community: welfare workers, schoolteachers, health professionals • Training and workforce development • Evidence base about what works • Research

Families are …

Creating a positive learning environment 103% kindergarten attendance at age 4 years Parents reading to children at home (Vic: 43%): DATA GAP 57% parents participate in their child’s school (Vic: 49%) 24% of households with children have no internet 2011 (Vic: 20%) Providing a positive lifestyle Physically active Parents physically active (Vic: 64%): DATA GAP Supported by networks Parents not socially isolated (get help from friends, family and neighbours): DATA GAP Regular access to healthy food 17% of adolescents were eating the minimum recommended daily serves of fruit and vegetables (Vic: 19%): DATA GAP Safe Free from violence 752 family violence incidents (2010/11) 1165 family violence reports (2011/12) Children were present in about one-third of incidents

Broad networks • Spreading the word about Child Friendly practice • Creating opportunity to participate through clubs and common interests

Financially secure 24% of children in welfare-dependent or other low-income families (Vic: 20%) 16% (under 16) living in jobless households (Vic: 13%)

Quality infrastructure • Access to playgrounds, recreation spaces including pocket parks, libraries, schools, broadband wi fi and transport

Able to spend time together 57% of adults feel work and family life interfere with each other (Vic: 47%) 18% of families with children are single parent families (Vic: 15%) Of these families, 17% of single parents were male and 83% female

Community, government and business working together • Partnerships that undertake strategic planning • An integrated approach to joint use of service delivery • Non-competitive funding models • Acknowledging ‘Child Friendly City’ businesses Mechanisms for listening to children and young people for those working with children and youth • Consultations with council and involving in decision-making • Mapping the feelings of children, through council’s activity-based ‘SOFTgis’ project with Finland • Listening to opinions by creating a place of our children in community building 36

Supported by child expertise 90% participated in the 4-month-old assessment (Vic: 93%) 72% participated in the 3.5-year-old assessment (Vic: 64%) 2 out of 44 playgroups are ‘supported playgroups’ Modelling good citizenship 57% of the adults in the community are members of organised groups such as sports, church, community groups or professional associations (Vic: 61%) No updated data available


Children are … Happy and healthy Supported by positive relationships (friends, family, neighbours, significant others): DATA GAP Healthy Overweight or obese: DATA GAP Opportunities to play 13% of adolescents did the recommended amount of physical activity every day (Vic: 12%): DATA GAP Active and mobile around their communities Using active transport to get to school: DATA GAP Involved in activities outside of school: DATA GAP Engaged, learning, earning, achieving Positive about school Positive about school on a five-point scale 3.82 (Vic 3.85) Achieving at school; students achieving national minimum standards in Reading and writing Year 3 93% (Vic: 95%) Year 9 92% (Vic: 92%) Numeracy Year 3 95% (Vic: 96%) Year 9 95% (Vic: 95%) Engaged 19% not learning or earning at age 15 years (Vic: 17%) 7% youth unemployment between ages 15 to 19 years (Vic: 4%) Safe and secure Safe in their own homes Child Protection notifications 739 Child Protection re-notifications : DATA n/a Securely housed, adolescents Young people aged 15 to18 years in receipt of special Youth Allowance payment called ‘unreasonable to live at home’: DATA n/a Free from sexual assault 294 (43%) of Loddon Campaspe CASA clients were children or adolescents in 2009/10; 137 young victims of assault 2011/12

Developing well Well developed by first year of school 10.9% developmentally vulnerable on two or more of the domains below (Vic: 9.5%): Physical health and wellbeing 8% not healthy, independent, ready each day (dressed, not hungry, not tired) (Vic: 8%) Social competence and wellbeing 8% not able to play, get on with others, share, have confidence (Vic: 8%) Emotional maturity 8% not able to concentrate, help others, be patient, not be angry or aggressive (Vic: 9%) Language and cognitive skills 7% not interested in reading and writing, can not write, recognise numbers and shapes (Vic: 6%) Communication skills and general knowledge 9% cannot tell a story or communicate well with others (Vic: 6%) 56% have good mental health, adolescents: (Vic: 61%) Active citizens Civically active and have their voices heard in planning and decision-making, and are respectful and responsible: DATA GAP

Appendix B. Indicator Framework Areas where we’re doing well Areas for improvement Data gap 37


www.childfriendlycity.com.au

State of Bendigo's Children Report 2013  

Further developing Bendigo as a UNICEF 'Child Friendly City' and advocating for the needs of children, this report examines key factors asso...