BY Barbara Beard

WESTIR is frequently asked for statistics about the children who live in Greater Western Sydney. The requests come from Government Departments, Councils, and Non-Government organisations large and small. The common denominator in all these requests is the need to provide better targeted services for children, particularly those in crisis. The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive resource containing all of the available data in one easy to use format. Comparisons with the larger geographical areas of Greater Sydney, NSW and Australia have been included where possible. The data has been sourced from the ABS Census, the Australian Early Development Census, Australia’s Mothers and Babies, the NSW Perinatal Data Collection, and the Public Health Information Development Unit.

Unfortunately data about the most vulnerable children has not been available at a local level. WESTIR often bemoans the inaccessibility of some data. There is a reasonable amount of data relating to children at risk but it is only at State level. The data is clearly collected but not released. Our wish list of data for small areas would include:

  • Children in Out of home care
  • Child protection notifications
  • Babies born with pre-existing drug addiction
  • Victims of assault or death
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Dental Health
  • Mental Health
  • Children living in poverty/family economic situation
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