diversitydatakids.org is a state-of-the-art research project designed to meet the urgent need for a national, integrated information source that helps us understand:
- Who our children are, by documenting and tracking the rapidly changing demographics of children and families in the U.S.;
- What our children need, by establishing a system for monitoring not only child outcomes, but also key factors (including opportunities, conditions, and resources) that drive child outcomes;
- How to improve opportunities for all children, especially those that may need the most help, by focusing explicitly and rigorously on issues of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic equity in child health and wellbeing.
The child population of the U.S. is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, with just under half of the child population comprised of Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other racial/ethnic minority children. Unfortunately, large racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities stubbornly persist in the opportunities and conditions that allow children to thrive. Because all children have the right to grow and develop in a healthy way and because the foundations of adult productivity and health are established in childhood, we must improve opportunities for all children to fulfill their potential. This will not only enhance the quality of childhood for all children but foster future economic, social, and civic vitality and health. Prominent guardian organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and UNICEF have prioritized equity in child health and wellbeing as a key principle guiding policy development and practices that support children and families. Building equitable opportunities for all children (especially the most vulnerable) is not only a moral imperative, but a sound investment in America’s future.
Our vision is one of equity in child health. We believe that all children should have an equal chance to achieve the Institute of Medicine’s (2004) definition of child health, that is, “to develop and realize their potential, satisfy their needs, and develop the capacities that allow them to interact successfully with their biological, physical, and social environments.” Achieving equity requires that all children and their families have equitable access to supportive environments and resources in the settings where they live, learn, work and play. It also requires the eradication of unfair and avoidable systematic differences between groups of children in their opportunities to attain healthy development.
Despite increasing child diversity, persistent inequities, and recognition of equity as a policy goal, policymakers and practitioners must currently piece together limited information from disparate and fragmented sources to document equitable progress and policy gaps. To help fill this gap, diversitydatakids.org offers the first comprehensive, equity-focused information system to monitor progress towards improved wellbeing for children of all racial/ethnic groups through the creation and dissemination of unique indicators and analysis of:
1. The state of wellbeing, diversity, opportunity and equity of children in the U.S., and
2. The availability, capacity and research evidence supporting the effectiveness of public policies and programs to equitably serve children of all racial and ethnic groups and reduce disparities among them.
Source: Brandeis University
Available at: http://www.diversitydatakids.org/