A measure of happiness
As The Nest progresses towards a draft national action plan, much is happening in parallel to the consultation. In particular, the Evidence Review is currently looking at indicators for child and youth wellbeing across the range of research already out there, both in Australia and internationally.
For instance, a recent report from The Office of the Children’s Rights Director for England (OCRD) sheds light on how we might be able to measure happiness though a range of indicators.
The study involved discussions and gathered feedback from children in care or living away from home. The Children’s Rights Director sought the views of its BeHeard panel and held two focus groups. An additional 20 children and young people involved in mental health ‘Sounding Boards’ in Oxfordshire also contributed towards the consultation. All of the young people were asked what they understood by happiness and what they needed to be happy.
A number of factors were identified that were important in making a child or young person happy including being treated fairly and with respect, having support from family and friends and being able to make your own decisions. A final list of 20 items was put together by the OCRD to make up a ‘children’s happiness questionnaire’ which can be used by children and young people to rate how happy they are.