Elkhart County releases new data-driven child dashboard

Photo courtesy: MGN

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – Elkhart County has created a new Child Dashboard to monitor and help the wellbeing of children throughout the county.

The online dashboard is comprised of data taken from both local organizations and public sources.

Data collected is used to help determine the health of the community and trends in child wellbeing, all with the goal of empowering community organizations to make informed decisions to improve the health of kids and families in Elkhart County.

The dashboard is the first of its kind in Indiana and has more than 45 different data points showing trends for child wellbeing and safety.

Collaborative efforts to create the dashboard began in April 2020 when reports of child abuse dropped as kids moved to remote learning.

In the summer of 2020, Elkhart County’s system of care, The SOURCE, contacted agency leaders to share data points for the dashboard.

Thirty organizations have contributed to the dashboard’s efforts, either through sharing data or by participating in the collective process.

“One of the things that makes Elkhart County a truly unique place to serve is the cooperation among partners,” said Laurie Nafziger, president and CEO of Oaklawn, who hosts The SOURCE. “The Child Dashboard is a prime example of how stakeholders are willing to not only work together to benefit kids in our community, but also to seek out the most effective ways to do it. It’s exciting to be part of something that’s unique in our state and has such positive potential impact on kids and families.”

Data will be updated quarterly, with each quarter data being compared to the last. Data points going in a desirable direction get a green label and those trending in the wrong direction get a red label. Gray labels are neutral.

“The collective effort to gather and utilize data from across our community will help all of us better help children and families in our community,” said Candy Yoder, Chief Program Officer for the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. “This innovative effort by THE SOURCE and the partnering organizations makes collaboration and collective efforts possible in powerful, new ways.”

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