meeting the goals and objectives in the next decade as set out in the federal reports (Health Resources and Service Administration, 2002).
Over the past 10 years, several other federal efforts have created a greater focus on children’s health, particularly on aspects of health traditionally defined as “well-being.” In 1994 the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) created an annual publication entitled Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children. In the same year, a Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics was instituted and was formally established in 1997 by executive order. The forum is a formal structure for collaboration among 20 federal agencies that produce or use statistical data on children and families. Since 1998 it has produced a report, America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, now produced on a biannual basis, which presents secondary data on economic security, health, behavior, social environment, and education. ASPE is currently developing a report, Social Indicators: Measures of Children, Family and Community Connections, to better understand family indicators in the domains of family structure; family functioning; family, work, and child care; school involvement and civic engagement; and social connections. The Environmental Protection Agency has produced two editions of America’s Children and the Environment, which presents trend data on environmental contaminants in air, water, food, and soil; biomonitoring data; and data on childhood diseases associated with factors in the physical environment.
Another source of secondary information is the databank maintained by Child Trends, Inc., which provides ready access to a wide range of current data sources pertinent to children’s health and its influences. Finally, KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, uses census data to produce national and state-level indicators of child well-being. KIDS COUNT produces an annual data book, makes data available on their web site, and funds a network of state-level projects (see Box 4-3).
Healthy People 2010, a national initiative that defines objectives to identify the most significant preventable threats to health and establish national goals related to these objectives, specifies numerous indicators to track the health of the U.S. population. While there are multiple indicators specific to children throughout the numerous identified objectives, with the exception of those relevant to adolescents, there have been limited efforts to use this mechanism to develop a comprehensive focus on the health of children, and the indicators specific to children are not presented in an integrated format.
Other potential sources of information on children’s health are clinical and administrative data derived from records or billing information supplied by health care providers. There are large datasets on enrollees in private health insurance plans and in state Medicaid and the State Child Health Insurance Plan. Another