• Superintendent Expectations

  • 1. Child Centered
  • 2. Respectful
  • 3. Visible
  • 4. Organized
  • 5. Enthusiastic
  • 6. Communicator
  • 7. Collaborative
  • 8. Positive Role Model
  • 9. Forgiving
  • 10. Professional
  • 11. Proactive
  • 12. Positive
  • Child Centered EXPECTATION #1:

    Being Child-Centered Means:

    Being child-centered is a way of elevating the interests, well-being, and views of children. This is important because children are affected directly and indirectly, by practically all policy decisions, and yet children can’t influence them through traditional channels. Adults have to weigh up the competing interests of many groups when making decisions, and children are often neglected in the process by virtue of their silence. Taking a more child-centered approach has benefits, for children themselves, and for the wider community. You can get better, more relevant, and responsive policies, services, and programs by asking children because you gain access to their unique ideas, skills, and perspectives.

    Be More Child-Centered in your Work

    Consider the following questions to be a fully child-centered organization:

    1. What impact does the decision (about a policy, program or service) have on children?
      Knowing what contributes to children’s well-being will help you determine what impacts (direct or indirect) your decisions or policies may have on children. As part of a brainstorming activity, ask how your decision will affect all of the following six areas that impact on what children need to grow up well: 1. Affordable, safe, healthy homes 2. Stable, nurturing family 3. Supportive community 4. Adequate income to meet needs 5. Supportive education sector 6. Accessible health services
    1. What are the differential impacts (i.e. on children from different groups, or between children and other groups in society)?
      Policy or decisions may have differential impacts on different groups of children. Consider differences among: 1.  ages (e.g. younger versus older children) 2. ethnicities 3. socioeconomic groups 4. disabilities 5. communities or regions (e.g. urban or rural) 6. family size and structure 7. parental characteristics (e.g. parent in prison, on minimum wage, with disability). Also consider when there are differences between children and other groups in society.
    1. What do children say? - Collect children's views and voices on a subject.
      Collect children's voices on the subject of your decision-making and enable their participation. You can seek children’s views and input to: 1. Inform your strategic directions and priorities 2. Support improved policy, program, or service design 3. Gather feedback on an existing policy, program, or service (through an engagement process or an effective complaints system) 4. Incorporate into evaluation or monitoring activities of programs or services. Importantly, after engaging with children, ensure their opinions and views are taken into account in decision making.
    1. What changes could be made to enhance the outcomes for children?
      Use the information you have gathered about the impact on children of your decision, including the views of children themselves, to consider if any changes could be made to enhance the outcomes for children. When you identify potential negative impacts from a decision or policy, it is important to mitigate them. For example, you may decide it is appropriate to end a scholarship program that supports high-achieving students and, rather, uses funds for additional tutoring for a particular segment of students not achieving at the national standard.

    Being fully child-centered is an aspiration, and few organizations will ever completely achieve this. However, all organizations can make better policies, programs and decisions by simply elevating the interests of children and taking the time to consider them alongside other factors.