Statewide snapshot of young people’s wellbeing

Commissioner for Children and Young People

Mr Colin Pettit, the Commissioner for Children and Young People is seeking the views of school students across Western Australia on health, safety and wellbeing in WA’s first Speaking Out Survey.

There are about 593,000 children and young people under the age of 18 years living in WA – representing almost one quarter of the total state population.

Mr Pettit said the results from the survey would create a snapshot of the daily lives of young people in WA.

It would take in a random sample of students from Years 4 to 12 from about 150 schools across the state. Young people would be asked to share their views on safety, physical and mental health, engagement in education, connection to community, experiences of poverty and how they access sources of support.

“While we know that most children and young people in WA are faring well, many need support. We want to better understand what young people themselves feel is and is not working well in their lives,” Mr Pettit said.

Mr Pettit said his School and Learning Consultation - Technical Report released last year had provided important data on what helps young people stay engaged at school and identified key areas of concern.

“I expect that the Speaking Out Survey will provide similar insights across a broader range of issues, giving a strong indication of how young people see their lives and where services and supports are needed.”

Staff from the Commissioner’s office will conduct the survey through schools in the coming months, followed by data analysis by the Telethon Kids Institute.

Mr Pettit acknowledged funding contributions for the survey from the Departments of Communities, Education, Health and Justice.

“The information gathered in the Speaking Out Survey will provide valuable information for anyone working with children and young people, across government and non-government organisations,” Mr Pettit said.

The findings from the survey will be published in early 2020. For more information visit the Commissioner’s website.