Annual State of Victoria’s Children reports provide a comprehensive picture of the health, wellbeing, learning, safety and development of Victoria’s children and young people.
Health and wellbeing is the theme of the State of Victoria’s Children 2017 report. The report brings together evidence from academic research, government and community sectors to explore the factors that can act to protect or hinder health and wellbeing outcomes. It finds that these outcomes are shaped by complex interactions between the child’s individual characteristics, genetics, family environment, communities, schools and support services.
Whilst a vast majority of Victorian children are found to be healthy and happy, the report highlights areas that are creating challenges for a minority of our young people. Traumatic experiences, an unhealthy family environment and risky behaviours such as drinking and substance abuse increase the likelihood of poor health and wellbeing outcomes. In addition, children from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds are more likely to experience poor health and wellbeing outcomes.
Importantly, these challenges do not determine a child’s future. Support from families, communities and services are found to help children overcome adversity and fulfil their potential.
The 2017 report is supplemented by an infographic summary of the key aspects from each chapter and a data appendix provides ready access to the data used in the report.