Preventing Youth Crime at a Whole-of-Community Level by Measuring and Responding to the Social and Emotional Needs of Children

Tara McGee1,Kate Freiberg1, Ross Homel1, Sara Branch1, Jacqueline Homel1 
1
Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane, Australia

The quality of the lives of children living in disadvantaged areas, as reported by children themselves, is seldom measured.  Rumble’s Quest is a fun game for tablets and computers that provides a robust and reliable measure of social-emotional wellbeing for children aged 6 to 12 years. Developed by Kate Freiberg and InVision Media with the support of a range of government and non-government partners, the game is one tool in a sophisticated integrated platform that gives children a voice in a way that maximises the chances that their expressed needs will be addressed by schools, families and community agencies, guided by reliable data. Rumble’s Quest is suitable for use in non-clinical settings with large numbers of children, has been tested for validity and reliability with 8,000 Queensland children, and is being progressively implemented in NSW and Queensland primary schools in 2018. The tool measures factors strongly related to educational success, involvement in antisocial behavior and youth crime, and positive youth development. These include attachment to school; supportive home-family relationships; social and emotional confidence; self-regulation and prosocial behaviour; impulse control; focused attention; and working memory. We describe the development and properties of Rumble’s Quest, present data on the distribution of child wellbeing in Queensland, and describe its use at the suburb (SA2) level, combined with data from the Australian Early Development Census, to measure community child risk and protective factors as a tool for setting goals for community action and the provision of evidence-based services matched to need.


Biography:

Tara Renae McGee is a developmental and life-course criminologist who’s interested in the development and prevention of antisocial behaviour. She is currently President of ANZSOC and Co-editor of the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology.

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