The Community Child and Youth Well-being Survey (CY-Survey) Project is a partnership led by UNICEF Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), the Medavie Health Foundation, and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) in collaboration with community partners in four regions – Halton Region, Ottawa, the Tri-County Region of Nova Scotia, and Waterloo Region. The CY-Survey is a youth-friendly, validated tool developed by UNICEF Canada. The survey was branded the Halton Youth Impact Survey (HYIS) for administration in Halton Region.
Created by the community for the community, this survey is important because it provides the opportunity for OKN and Halton to collect and share new, quality, local data, and evidence to support the delivery of programs, services, policies, and initiatives that are critical to the well-being of children, youth, and families in Halton.
The survey was designed for children and youth between 9 and 18 years of age. It measures key factors related to child and youth development and wellbeing, such as connection to family, schools, community, and peers, as well as other domains such as physical and mental health, participation, safety and leisure, and risk behaviours such as smoking and drug use.
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* Participants could self-identify and enter their own identity. The most common response was non-binary. Other responses included: gender fluid (13), questioning/not sure (10), demigirl (3), agender (12), genderqueer (2).
** Identifies as First Nations, Metis, Inuit or other.
More information in the detailed table.
Our Kids Network is committed to turning research into action. We do this by supporting our community partners in using the best available evidence to make decisions about programs, services, and policies around child and youth wellbeing in Halton. The results from the Halton Youth Impact Survey provide our community with a valuable opportunity to make positive change for young people. To do this, OKN is working with partners to develop a knowledge translation plan to guide us in turning this new information about youth wellbeing into positive action. Our plan is focused on centering youth voices to ensure initiatives are responsive to their needs. To do this, we will be hosting Youth Data Parties, such as the one hosted by our Youth Impact Ambassadors on November 30, to share findings with young people and hear their feedback on key priorities such as mental health, belonging and safety. We will also be sharing preliminary findings with our partners to get their feedback on what the data means to them and how we can work together to mobilize this important information.
Beginning early in 2022, we will be kicking off a series of public activities to share findings from the survey, including events, a series of data action bulletins, reports, infographics, Data Portal, tutorials and more. We plan to mobilize our community around key considerations to help guide decision-making that is relevant to each organization.
The HYIS was available online from April 30 to June 14, 2021. Using a combination of direct contact and social media as well as enlisting 25 Youth Impact Ambassadors, children and youth aged 9 to 18 years in Halton Region were invited to complete the survey using an online survey site managed by the CIW. During the six weeks that the survey was open, invitations and reminders were sent via social media and email. Participants were recruited through OKN partners and peer to peer engagement using social media, email, flyers, and virtual events through public health, regional and municipal government, and other community organizations throughout Halton.
When the survey closed early in June 2021, a total of 3,273 children and youth had gone to the online survey. After removing duplicate and illegitimate submissions (e.g., clearly dishonest or fake entries), and retaining only those submissions that had completed at least 30% of survey questions, a total of 2,599 children and youth provided usable responses and comprised the final sample.
An accurate estimate of the overall response rate cannot be determined. Even though the total numbers of children and youth 9 to 18 years of age living in Halton Region can be established using official sources such as the Census of Canada, the actual number of children and youth ultimately reached by extending invitations to participate in the survey through various social media is unknown. Consequently, an accurate count of the total survey population – that is, the number of potential participants – could not be made in order to estimate the response rate based on the final sample size.
By using an open invitation sampling strategy to enlist survey participants, the 2,599 individuals making up the final sample cannot be considered representative of all children and youth in Halton Region. However, given the size and geographic coverage of the final sample and a review of its demographic profile against selected Census data, the individuals who did choose to participate do reflect a reasonably good cross-section of children and youth in Halton Region. Consequently, the survey data can be used with confidence, albeit with some caution when drawing conclusions.
Source: Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo (2021). The Well-being of children and youth in Halton Region: A profile based on the 2021 Halton Youth Impact Survey.