‘How are they doing?’ Child Well-Being Study launched to mark Universal Children’s Day
‘How Are They Doing? A Community Perspective on Child Well-Being’ is the 1st survey of its kind in Ireland and indicates that children from traditionally disadvantaged areas are performing better than the national norm.
The study, which was carried out by Clondalkin-based organisation Archways and commissioned by the Blue Skies Initiative and The Genesis Programme, was conducted in two separate phases and examined the well-being of children aged 7, 10 and 12 years living in Drogheda, Dundalk and Clondalkin, was launched by John Lonergan on Monday 20th November in the Mont Clare Hotel in Dublin to mark Universal Children’s Day. 850 children, their parents and teachers were surveyed in total.
The event was kicked off by a brilliant performance from the Redeemer Boys’ School Choir.
The children themselves answered questions on their well-being, self-concept, their cognitive abilities and academic performance. Parents and teachers were also quizzed about their perspective on how well these children were doing.
Some key findings from the report, which will be launched on November 20th, show that children locally are performing better than the national norm and are particularly resilient – highly unexpected results given the previous research which indicates that children in marginalised communities are exposed to greater challenges which impact their development.
Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme “This research goes towards giving a voice to children and it’s important that we listen. The children in this study are exceeding expectations academically, are resilient and confident in themselves. However, some children are beginning to struggle emotionally and psychologically as they get older.”
“The results of this current study show that investment in the children of Louth and indeed North and Southwest Clondalkin has made a difference. It is vital that we continue to invest in their futures and provide them with the resources needed to continue to do well and overcome any difficulties they may face.”
This research challenges the assumption of poor outcomes for children living in areas that have been typically identified as disadvantaged – with these findings expected to change the current dialogue around education and well-being of children in demographically disadvantaged areas.
Alice Malone, Quality Assurance Coordinator with The Genesis Programme said: “This study is the first of its kind to be carried out in Co. Louth in which children from 14 schools from Dundalk and Drogheda participated. It gives us a great insight into how parents and teachers view the well-being of our children. More importantly, it gives children aged 7, 10 and 12 an opportunity to have their voice heard and to tell us how they view themselves. It is very encouraging to hear that the children’s sense of self is up there with children nationally and that they have high levels of resilience and are doing well academically.”
Other key findings suggest that there is strong positive correlation between the children’s sense of resilience and perceived well-being. The study also indicates that previous analysis regarding performance outcomes for children from demographically deprived areas needs to be examined and that further research is needed to explore the contextual and environmental contributions which have led to local children succeeding at a higher level than expected.