What are the needs and strengths of King County families? First-ever health survey to provide answers

Cross-posted from King County’s Best Starts for Kids Blog.

Do children in our region get the medical checkups that are recommended? Do families in our region receive the child care they need?  How many kids are ready to succeed in school? Until now, we didn’t have a good source of information to understand the strengths and needs of local families. With a new community-wide survey starting [August 2016], King County will begin to fill this gap. The Best Starts for Kids (BSK) health survey is sponsored by the voter-approved Best Starts for Kids initiative and was developed in consultation with local experts and trusted community-based organizations.

About 12,000 randomly selected King County parents or caregivers with children in 5th grade or younger will be asked to participate.  Results will be shared with the public in 2017.

How will the survey answers be used? 

Survey results will inform the activities under the voter-approved Best Starts for Kids initiative. For our region to continue to prosper now and in the future, we need everyone to have a fair opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, ethnicity, ability or where they live in the County. The survey will help focus attention on the local needs of families. BSK will fund programs to:

  • Invest early to optimize children’s health and well-being before age five—programs such as providing support for parents and expanding preventive screening.  
  • Sustain the gain from ages five through twenty-four such as mentoring and work to stop the “School to Prison” pipeline.
  • Prevent youth and family homelessness and promoting safe and healthy communities.
  • Invest in communities that have been left behind with the changing economics of our region.

The results will provide vital baseline information about King County children. Follow-up surveys in 2018 and 2020 will track the effectiveness of BSK activities.

What are the benefits to participating?

  • Broad participation will ensure that the diversity of King County’s population is represented.
  • Shape the future of King County children, families, and communities.
  • Survey participants can compare their experiences with the rest of King County families.
  • Participants will be entered in a lottery and 1 in every 100 will win $150.

How will people participate?

  • Starting this September, randomly selected parents/guardians will be contacted about the survey. They can complete it online, on paper, or over the phone.
  • The survey will be available in six languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, and Somali.
  • Participants will answer questions about their child’s health, activities, and experiences; their family’s strengths and supports; and aspects of community and neighborhood life.

If you’re selected [or provide services to families who were selected], make sure your voice is heard – please participate in the survey.

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