Please Note: Only COVID-19 vaccinated adults and children over 5 can attend the Clinic.

Taking Stock for our Children

Working in the field of helping and social assistance every day, we see those whose lives are sad and difficult. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that despite the many challenges; high interest rates, low rental stock and difficulty accessing affordable mental and physical health care there are reasons to be positive. South Australia’s Report Card for Children and Young People published in January 2023, provides an overview of the 363,000 residents who are under 18 years and form 20% of the state’s population. The data provides information that reveals gaps in our services and guides decision making. 

In summary, the report suggests that most young South Australians are ‘faring well’ across the domains of health, living circumstances, safety, education, wellbeing, and citizenship. Most babies are born healthy and children and young people are physically in good health. More than 95% of all 5-year-olds are fully immunised and 79% of young people reported themselves to be in good or excellent health. Most live in safe housing and are protected from preventable injury, abuse, neglect, and crime. 82% of the sample felt optimistic about life and 88% participated in organised activities outside of home. The majority reported positive learning experiences, were fully engaged in school, further education, training or work and are achieving minimum standards in reading, writing and numeracy. They are developing skills for independent living and strive to be active and engaged citizens whose ideas and opinions are respected. 

Gratifying as this is, there is reason for concern, which specifically relate to the 4.5% who are Aboriginal. 13% of babies born were of low birth weight and of the 4,400 children in out of home care, 37% were Aboriginal. School attendance rates from years 1 to 10 were also significantly lower than other young South Australians. 

Other more general concerns include unacceptably high rates of obesity and isolation. 11% of children from Years 4 to 10 reported that they had no close friend while 41% could not identify an adult at school who was important to them. While 41% of young people were ‘not at all concerned about family conflict’ this suggests that many are worried to a greater or lesser extent. 

These statistics have been drawn from sources gathered from 2016 to 2022, and much has happened in these years, including a global pandemic and economic hardship. We can only imagine that both elements will have increased stress on both physical and emotional well being with a disproportionate impact on aboriginal children and their families. The results allow clarity about where our attention and resources should be directed as we know that by supporting those whose need is greatest, we will all benefit. 


How are they faring? South Australia’s 2022 Report Card for children and young people: South Australia’s Outcomes Framework for Children and Young People: 

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