On 2-3 November, ESN was at the 2nd Expert Consultation on child well-being indicators at the OECD headquarters in Paris. Alongside representatives from numerous national and international organisations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, the European Commission and Eurochild, ESN represented local public social services in a consultation organised by the OECD to look at indicators that can be used to measure children’s well-being.

The discussion focused on poverty, especially in light of the current debate on child poverty at EU and national levels, for example the impact of taxes and transfers on child poverty. The debate also looked beyond poverty: UNICEF presented the Child Deprivation Index at European Level and supported the idea that money doesn’t tell the whole story. However, it is noteworthy that out of the 14 indicators presented none referred to social services or child protection.

At the meeting, both the Commission and researchers insisted on the need to have greater regularity in measuring children’s well-being, though there was not agreement as to how often this should take place. ESN argued that child well-being indicators need to include access to services, particularly data as to how many vulnerable children are being looked after and the impact of services on their lives. With this in mind, ESN published a short paper outlining n the impact of childcare and child protection services working with children across Europe for the event.

For more information on this topic you can read more about the OECD’s new publication entitled “Doing Better for Families”, which looks at policies aimed to support families with children.

The OECD’s Dominic Richardson presented at ESN’s recent Autumn Seminar on ‘Investing in Children’.