(July 14, 2020) We love our children. We’ll do anything for them, won’t we? Politicians constantly appeal to our natural sense of care for children, to demonstrate their good intentions, or to amplify the dangers from which they are uniquely qualified to shield us. “Won’t someone please think of the children,” is becoming a cynical catchphrase. And yet the United Nations says, “the true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children—their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies to which they were born.”
Children are our future- and they are also canaries in the coal mine, sensitive to struggle, the most vulnerable among us, and a key to understanding the future needs of the charitable sector.
How are the 8 million children in Canada doing? It depends on which children. UNICEF has released The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being 2019 Baseline Report, which looks at 125 indicators for child well-being in Canada. According to UNICEF, “Canada’s wealth has been steadily rising, but our overall level of child and youth well- being hasn’t budged in over a decade.”