The 2018 ARACY report card: The wellbeing of young Australians

Policy considerations
Friday 27 July, 1155 – 1215


Kate Sollis
Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth

The third ARACY Report Card, released in February 2018, illustrates how well Australia is faring in child and youth wellbeing. Using the six dimensions of wellbeing identified through The Nest framework, namely loved and safe; material basics; healthy; learning; participating; and positive sense of culture and identity, the report showcases around 100 indicators. These have been used in the Report Card to assess the national trend, determine where Australia sits internationally, and to compare national figures to that for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Such data provides policy makers, service providers and researchers with a useful tool to better understand the major issues affecting families in Australia.

The 2018 ARACY Report Card shows that in an international context, Australia can best be described as “middle of the road”, with no improvement observed since the 2013 Report Card. While Australia fares well in areas such as parent engagement and substance use, we are placed in the bottom third of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries for food security and jobless families. Some areas in which we are ranked favourably internationally, such as youth in prison, we fall short in for certain population groups with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children around 10 times more likely to be in detention than other children.

This presentation will provide an overview of the wellbeing dimensions within The Nest framework, and highlight key findings from the Report Card.