NEST Project to Focus on Children’s Wellbeing
28 February 2012 at 10:35 am
|The Nest will help to improve the wellbeing and life opportunities of young Australians.|
A new project has been launched to focus Australia’s national investment on what works for the wellbeing of children and youth via a high-level Not for Profit alliance.
Initiated by the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY) and in collaboration with Bupa Health Foundation, The Nest is an independent project to improve the wellbeing and life opportunities of young Australians by building a national plan for coordinated action.
ARACY says it’s the first time an integrated child and youth wellbeing plan has been developed with endorsement from across the sector.
“People are usually shocked to discover that, internationally, Australia is only a middle-ranked country when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our young people,” ARACY chief executive Dr Lance Emerson said.
“And that’s despite a lot of money being spent with good intentions. We, at ARACY, along with an alliance of most of the significant players in this field, feel it’s time for our efforts to be expended on what works, for duplication to be minimised, and for scarce resources to be coordinated on young people, families and places where they will be most effective.”
“The evidence is very clear – we could be doing better for our children and young people in the area of health and wellbeing,” Dr Emerson said.
He says The Nest will bring together a comprehensive review of what works and what doesn’t work according to the best evidence available and a six-month national public consultation, which will invite and encourage children, young people, parents and carers to have their say at The Nest website, thenestproject.org.au.
“It’s time for the community to define what they want and marry that with the evidence for concerted action so that the wellbeing of young Australians is truly a national priority,” ARACY board member and chair of The Nest Steering Committee, Dr Norman Swan said.
“We can’t afford to waste time or money on the nation’s future, which is what our young people are.”
“Many causes of poor child wellbeing are preventable, which makes the current situation unacceptable,” Dr Swan said.
“The Nest will deliver an evidence-based resource for the community, non-government organisations and State and Federal Governments that demonstrates what works when it comes to investing in the future of our children and young people.”
Reports from the evidence review and national consultation will be published in October 2012 along with a draft national plan of action. Public comment will be invited ahead of a National Summit in November 2012.