New report highlights the wellbeing similarities and differences across WA regions
New report highlights the wellbeing similarities and differences across WA regions, from the perspective of over 16,500 children and young people.
The WA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Jacqueline McGowan-Jones, has released a report presenting the findings from the ‘Speaking Out Survey 2021’, that features responses from over 16,500 Western Australia children and young people in Year 4 to Year 12.
‘Insights from the Speaking Out Survey 2021: The views of WA children and young people on their wellbeing by education region’ identifies the similarities and differences across the regions in WA and highlights some key areas where services or developments at the community level can make a difference to children and young people’s lives.
The Commissioner shared, “This report will be invaluable to government and non-government organisations in each region of WA to assist them in the planning and delivery of programs and services that affect children and young people.”
The report tells us that most children and young people in WA feel loved, healthy, connected, safe and supported, and that overall, they have good life satisfaction feelings.
The majority of children and young people across the state reported their general health as good, very good or excellent (84.3%) and that there is a parent or another adult at home who listens to them when they have something to say (78%). Most also reported that they like school a lot or a bit, and that it is very or somewhat important to be at school every day (92.3%).
However, there are some differences across the regions which are noted throughout the report.
Many children and young people in regional and remote locations shared that they do not have access to the level of outdoor or recreational facilities that are available in the Perth metropolitan area, with students in the Kimberley and Pilbara much less likely to feel safe in their local area than students in other regions.*
One in seven students (around 14%) in the Kimberley and Goldfields shared that they had enough food to eat at home only sometimes or less, compared to an average of 9.6% across WA.*
Additionally, Aboriginal children and young people across the state are particularly affected by material disadvantage with around one in five Aboriginal children and young people in the Wheatbelt, Goldfields and the metropolitan area not always having enough food to eat at home.
Addressing the disparity in health and wellbeing of children and young people between regions requires targeted interventions and policies. It is crucial that reports such as this are used to inform programs and services that relate to the wellbeing of children and young people in our state.
“The aim in producing individual regional chapters is not to ‘name and shame’ any particular region, but to provide information and incentivise local communities how best to support children and young people to lead healthy and happy lives," the Commissioner said.
‘Insights from the Speaking Out Survey 2021: The views of WA children and young people on their wellbeing by education region’ can be found online.
*It should be noted that, as a whole of state report the data is representative. However, when reporting on individual regions it is a sample, and is not representative.