Of the nearly 1.3 million children living in our 13-county region, close to half a million live in communities with low or very low child well-being. While there are many groups doing excellent work in our area, not all services and resources leverage the most important drivers of change. Gaps in services and missing resources are barriers to the well-being we all strive for.
United Way of Greater Atlanta is focusing on ensuring every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Communities that can say, “All the children are well” have babies born healthy, kids who read proficiently by 3rd grade and teens who graduate from high school ready for college and careers. These are kids that grow up in communities where people are educated, employed, and housed.
We and our nonprofit, business, volunteer, donor, government and foundation partners work to improve the living situations for all. We understand the needs of the community and encourage action – whether through contributing time, talent or treasure. No one can do it alone.
United Way, along with dozens of partners, has developed a set of measures that the community can use to assess how its children, the families that support them and the community that surrounds them, are doing. This enables us to track our progress and determine what levers are the most effective in ensuring “all the children are well.”
The Child Well-Being Index measures are:
Putting our community’s children on the path to fulfilling their potential requires us to work together toward a single, shared agenda. We need a collective vision, unified measures of achievement, strategies for how to attain success and a way to evaluate progress.
For every measure of child well-being, there are a multitude of factors that influence outcomes and a series of actions that can allow progress. When we consider all of the potential solutions that help us move the needle – evidence-based strategies, innovative programs, policies, volunteerism, etc., they fall into three categories: