Advancing States' Child Indicator Initiatives
In the era of welfare reform, states increasingly look to child indicator data to assess the impact of policies on the health and well-being of children. State teams, policy experts, researchers and federal staff joined forces in a series of meetings between 1998 and 2001 to discuss how to use these indicators in local and state policy-making.
The aims of the Advancing States' Child Indicator Initiatives project are to promote state efforts to develop and monitor indicators of the health and well-being of children during this era of welfare reform and shifting policy, and to help institutionalize the use of indicator data in state and local policy making. With support from Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, thirteen states (plus a fourteenth, funded by a private foundation), joined in partnerships with research and policy experts and federal staff to develop and apply indicators of well-being among children in policy making and implementation. Chapin Hall helped to meet the technical assistance needs of states in this endeavor. Researchers at the Center convened a series of meetings at which state teams meet to exchange ideas and knowledge. The meetings addressed such topics as conceptualizing and developing child-care, school readiness, and health and well-being indicators; using an indicator framework to monitor welfare reform and other policy changes; technological, analytical, and data availability issues in indicator development; and the use of promotional or asset-based indicators.