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Kids Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC)

Kids Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse    logo_kwic.gif

In 2003, the Council launched KWIC, an interactive website that advances the NYS Touchstones/KIDS COUNT data dissemination process by expanding access to New York State children's health, education, and well-being data; providing more current data; expanding the number of indicators presented; providing access to other data resources; allowing users to chart, graph and map data; and giving users the ability to tailor data to fit their needs. KWIC (www.nyskwic.org), is a one-stop data warehouse with data from numerous Council member agencies.

KWIC has been redesigned with enhanced features and functionality. Please take a few minutes to explore this user-friendly, data-rich resource.

Check out our Community Asset Mapping Tool

KWICHomePage.jpg

 
KWIC Webinars

 

Background

In May 1997, the Executive Director of the Council on Children and Families and the 13 Commissioners of the Council’s member agencies approved a set of goals, objectives, and measures known as New York State Touchstones. The vision that underlies this effort is that all children, youth, and families in New York State will be healthy and have the knowledge, skills, and resources to succeed in a dynamic society. The Touchstones framework identifies indicators to help measure progress towards meeting that vision. Touchstones use the following six life areas for organization and presentation of the indicators: Economic Security; Physical and Emotional Health; Education; Citizenship; Civic Engagement; and Family.

At about the same time Touchstones was approved, the Annie E. Casey Foundation began providing funds to the Council to produce a Kids Count Data Book for New York State. The product of these combined efforts is the New York State Touchstones/Kids Count Data Book. The Council developed an ACCESS database to store and manipulate the data. The NYS Touchstones - Kids Count Data Book is the first effort to incorporate and disseminate a set of child well-being indicators that encompass New York State’s health, education, and human service systems. The purpose of the data book is to provide individuals and organizations with a compilation of indicators that could help profile their counties and the State in a way that had not previously been possible. Prior to the data book, individuals had to seek data from each separate state agency and compile it themselves-a time-consuming and inefficient process for those who needed data, as well as for the suppliers of that data.

While the data book is a useful tool, the Council recognized an automated version of the data book would improve the type and amount of data available to users and decrease the amount of time users waited to receive the information that was necessary for planning and policy purposes. As a result, CCF, in conjunction with the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) and the Cornell University College of Human Ecology sought and was awarded a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop the Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC) prototype. The KWIC prototype is a data-rich, web-based tool that allows users to gather and use indicator data to assess community needs, design and improve programs, and focus on outcomes.

This prototype has been developed and pilot-tested with substantial gains being made; however, the prototype did not fully meet the requirements of users or web and data managers. Through the benefit of focus groups and CTG assistance, a number of necessary steps were identified to recreate a KWIC website that will be more useful to the public and easier to navigate, as well as streamline the process of updating data.

In 2002, the Council was awarded funding from the Office for Technology's (OFT) Entrepreneurial Fund to create the KWIC website. The OFT Entrepreneurial Fund provides funding for projects that promote the development of new technologies having multi-agency or statewide impact or provide innovative improvements or enhancements to existing multi-agency systems. In April 2002, the Council awarded the KWIC web development contract to Cogent Technologies, and in December 2003, the Kids' Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse, www.nyskwic.org, was launched.

Purpose

The Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC) is a Council initiative aiming to advance the use of children’s health, education, and well-being indicators as a tool for policy development, planning, and accountability.

KWIC’s goal is to promote efforts to gather, plot, and monitor children's health, education, and well-being indicator data as a means to improve outcomes for New York State’s children and families.

Benefits

KWIC provides timely access to New York State Touchstones KIDS COUNT data through an interactive, publicly accessible website. As a result, users have an enhanced tool to gather and use indicator data to assess needs, design and improve programs, and sharpen their focus on outcomes. With growing recognition of the superiority and long-term efficiency of the Internet for publishing data, this web-based system impacts current practices at a number of levels by:

  • expanding access to New York State children’s health, education, and well-being data;
  • providing more current data;
  • expanding the number of indicators;
  • providing access to other data resources;
  • allowing users to chart, graph, and map data; and
  • giving users the ability to tailor data to fit their needs.

Expanding Access: A wider range of individuals has access to KWIC data, and more individuals have the opportunity to become aware of the existence and availability of New York State children’s health, education, and well-being data.

Providing More Current Data: Compared to the costly and time-consuming paper publication process, KWIC allows the Council to update and distribute data as soon as it becomes available at a minimal cost.

Expanding the Number of Indicators: KWIC gives the Council the flexibility to increase the type and number of indicators in a more timely fashion.

Providing Access to Other Resources: Organizations often require information beyond what is available through the data book publications and KWIC. KWIC provides links to other valuable data sources and expands the tools available to them.

Providing Charting, Graphing, and Mapping Capabilities: Users have the ability to display data in numerous formats, i.e., tables, bar graphs and line charts, maps, as well as tailor comparisons between New York State, New York City, Rest of State and county data.

Providing Data Tailoring Capabilities: Because KWIC is interactive, users have the ability to select the data they want to use. KWIC users have the ability to access trends and specific data as well as determine the displayed format, i.e., tables or charts. To accomplish this using only data books, a user would have to sift through multiple publications and manually display the data.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is KWIC?

The Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC), a project of the Council on Children and Families, provides timely access to New York State Touchstones / KIDS COUNT data through an interactive, publicly accessible Website.

What does KWIC try to accomplish?

By providing policymakers, program administrators, and citizens with timely access to NYS Touchstones and KIDS COUNT data, users will have an enhanced tool to gather and use indicator data to assess needs, design and improve programs, and sharpen their focus on outcomes.

What are the benefits of using a web-based data system?

KWIC will impact current practices at a number of levels by:

  • expanding access to New York State children’s health, education, and well-being data;
  • providing more current data;
  • expanding the number of indicators;
  • providing access to other data resources;
  • allowing users to chart and graph data; and
  • giving users the ability to tailor data to fit their needs.

What framework does KWIC use and why?

KWIC uses the Touchstones framework, organized by six major life areas: economic security, physical and emotional health, education, citizenship, families, and communities. Each life area has a set of goals and objectives-representing expectations about the future, and a set of indicators reflecting the status of children and families. This framework provides a holistic approach.

What criteria are used in selecting the KWIC indicators?

There are four major criteria for indicator selection:

  • The measure has to focus on the characteristics of children and families, not on the characteristics of programs or services;
  • The measure has to be population-based;
  • The data has to be available annually for counties; and
  • The measure has to be reliable.

What other data sources supplement the KWIC data?

KWIC provides demographic data from the U.S. Census for each county and region of New York to help users understand the characteristics of the people behind the data.

What other formats are used to distribute KWIC data?

The New York State Touchstones/ KIDS COUNT data used in KWIC was originally available through a paper-bound databook produced by the New York State Council on Children and Families. Databooks will continue to be produced and will also be available on the Council’s website. Special reports focusing on specific topics, e.g., teenage pregnancy, also use the Touchstones framework and data.

 

Partners

 

The Council partners with the following agencies and organizations on the KWIC project:

 

Contact

 

Cate Teuten Bohn, MPH, KIDS COUNT Director
Council on Children and Families
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, New York 12144

Telephone:
518-473-3652
E-mail:
cate.bohn@ccf.ny.gov

 

Hieu Nguyen, IT/GIS Project Coordinator 
Council on Children and Families
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, New York 12144

Telephone:
518-473-3652
E-mail:
hieu.nguyen@ccf.ny.gov

 

Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse Resources

Related Links
Additional Web Resources
A list of useful external websites and resources