Advancing States' Child Indicator Initiatives: Promotional Indicators Forum . Summary of Small Group Discussions on Dimensions and Sample Promotional Indicators


The small groups presented their ideas in a session facilitated by Ada Skyles.

Target: Families, Category: Emotional Health


  • Connections within the family and to the outside (including joint activities, time together, and traditions)
  • Healthy relationships (includes open communication and trust)
  • Spiritual development
  • Clear rules, regulations, and boundaries
  • Hopes and aspirations for the future
  • Arts and culture
  • Diversity — valuing it within the family
  • Respect
  • Family esteem
  • Family volunteerism; civic participation

The group felt that all of these dimensions were important.

Sample Promotional Indicators


  • Number of hours family actually volunteers
  • The extent to which the family members value giving back to the community (which includes the issue of saying versus doing)

Connections Within Families and Connections to the Outside (Time Together)

  • Number of interactive activities pursued together by 2 or more family members
  • Number of interactive conversations between 2 or more family members

Connections Within Family and to Outside (Tradition)

  • Regularity, consistency, and meaningfulness of rituals/celebrations

Clear Rules, Regulations, and Boundaries

  • Whether commonly accepted boundaries and consequences can be identified by family members
  • Bedtime exists and is followed
  • Developmentally appropriate curfews
  • Whether rules exist for adult family members (e.g., don't stay at the bar all night)
  • Whether family has roles and expectations for all family members that contribute to healthy family functioning (circular)
  • Adult caregiving of young children (not vice versa)
  • Number of child-initiated activities

The group judged the third, fifth, sixth, and seventh indicators to be the most important.

Target: Families, Category: Self-Sufficiency/Economic Security


  • Adequate housing
  • Job security
  • Stable and adequate income
  • Access to health care and insurance
  • Child care (availability, affordability, quality)
  • Life skills (financial management, nutrition, parenting)
  • Education/skills to achieve economic goals
  • Transportation
  • Emotional support within family/social network
  • Access/utilization to community facilities/resources
  • Internal locus of control
  • Family decision-making

Target: Parents, Category: Emotional Health

The parents group felt strongly that "parenting" should be its own category and consequently excluded it from discussion.


  • Social connection
  • Communication skills
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Supportive family
  • Coping skills
  • Accurate self-concept (realistic)
  • Self-sufficiency (financial, dependents, survival, home)

Sample Promotional Indicators

  • Number of people an individual can rely on in a crisis
  • Percentage of individuals who score at or above the norm on self-esteem scale
  • Number of hours per month people can choose their recreational activity
  • Membership in or affiliation with religious organizations and/or community or civic groups
  • Percentage of people at or above norm on self-control scale (locus of control)

Target: Parents, Category: Economic Security


  • Stable employment
  • Livable wage (transportation, medical care, child care, housing)
  • Social safety net

Target: Young Children, Category: Emotional Health

High-Priority Dimensions

  • Sense of self (age-appropriate, part of family and community)
  • Attachment
  • Sense of future/hope
  • Laughter
  • Empathy
  • Self-regulates appropriately — coping skills

Other Dimensions

  • Health care
  • Consistent caregiver
  • Self-confidence/self-efficacy
  • Adequate child care
  • Empowerment (independence, have some control)
  • Consistent boundaries
  • Opportunities for socialization with peers and adults
  • Interacts appropriately with peers

Target: Young Children, Category: Shelter

High-Priority Dimensions

  • Safe shelter (structurally, neighborhood)
  • Accessible shelter (affordable, available)

Other Dimensions

  • Environmental quality (water, light, sound, heat, inside/outside)
  • Stable shelter (in one place for extended period; same composition)
  • Integrated shelter — ability to connect to community services and supports
  • Spatially adequate (the group noted potential cultural issues)

Sample Promotional Indicators


  • Number of library, school services, etc. by distance
  • Use of services/facilities
  • Knowledge of available services/facilities


  • Percentage median income spent on housing
  • Number of units available
  • Percentage of disposable income

The first and second indicators were judged to be the most significant.


  • Access to safe play areas
  • People are out of home using neighborhood in evening and weekends
  • Parents/caregivers feel safe at home (MN)
  • Youth feel safe in home (MN proxy)

The third and fourth indicators were judged to be the most significant.

Target: Youth, Category: Education

Dimension priority — high or other — was assigned using practicality as a deciding factor.

High-Priority Dimensions

  • High-school graduation
  • School engagement
  • Academic achievement

Other Dimensions

  • Educational support services
  • Computer literacy
  • Creativity
  • Love of learning
  • Safe driving
  • Lifelong learning skills
  • Parenting skills
  • Economic literacy
  • Physical education
  • Arts
  • Involvement in governance
  • Liking school
  • Meaningful participation in school
  • Community service

Sample Promotional Indicator for Education

  • Percentage of youth going on to higher education

Target: Youth, Category: Emotional Health

High-Priority Dimensions

Sense of identity

  • Self-esteem
  • Sexual identity
  • Ethnic/community
  • Self respect
  • Autonomy
  • Body image


  • Peers
  • Family
  • Adults

Other Dimensions

  • Respected by others
  • Emotional skills in decision-making and in conflict resolution
  • Personal responsibility
  • Social competency
  • Spirituality
  • Happiness
  • Accessibility of services

Sample Youth Emotional Health Promotional Indicators

  • Percentage of kids who say they have 2-3 peers/friends that care about them (nonfamily)
  • Percentage of kids who have 2-3 caring adults in their lives (nonparental)
  • Percentage of kids who feel loved and valued by their main caretaker

Target: Community, Category: Economic Security

Using clarity as a filter, the community group assigned priority to the dimensions.

High-Priority Dimensions

  • Income levels (living wage)
  • Meaningful employment
  • Full employment
  • Diverse job base (jobs, size of employers)
  • Job preparation (training/education; quality public schools)
  • Cost of living
  • Job supports (transportation, child care, job security, etc.)
  • Business climate (infrastructure)

Sample Promotional Indicators

  • Percentage of people earning a living wage
  • Percentage of people reporting job satisfaction
  • Percentage of new jobs created
  • Percentage of individuals receiving health care and employment benefits (through employers)
  • Number of individuals employed in small businesses
  • Number of individuals actively involved in job training
  • Number of individuals in secondary education

Target: Community, Category: Emotional Health


  • Supportive community (interconnectedness)
  • Civic participation (voting)
  • Volunteering
  • Recreational availability
  • Culture and arts
  • Sense of belonging — identity
  • Perception of safety
  • Diversity of leadership
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Spirituality
  • Cultural awareness and respect

Sample Promotional Indicators

  • Percentage of eligible voters voting
  • Percentage of people volunteering
  • Percentage of individuals attending number of events (cultural)
  • Satisfaction with volunteer role
  • Leadership reflective of the community (race, sex, age, protected classes)
  • Recreational opportunities (number of opportunities; budget by number of kids; after-school activities/slots by children; diversity of legal after-school activities)
  • Awareness of leadership activities
  • Number of religious institutions