The Index framework consists of four sections of indicators: child vulnerability, governance environment, UNCRC child protection issues and social work.
The first set of indicators draws from quantitative data about child vulnerability in each country. The indicators review the rates of children living outside of their biological families; the rate of public sector personnel available to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children; and finally, the amount of state social protection expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Vulnerability increases for children in the absence of family-based care; the prevalence of child-advocates and state funding can mitigate vulnerability.
The second set of indicators affirms Article 4 of the UNCRC that requires States Parties to apply all appropriate measures to achieve child protection. Indicators review a country’s governance environment to measure whether regulations and protocols exist to encourage a systematic approach to child protection. Good governance elements such as transparency, consistent decision making rights and citizen participation create an environment for stronger child protection.
The third set of indicators uses specific child protection articles from the UNCRC and principles from a systems approach to child protection to review government efforts to protect girls and boys. For example, the Index reviews a country’s efforts to end and prevent violence against children within the following dimensions:
– Creation of laws and policy
– Availability of services at the local level
– Capacity of the public sector to deliver services (resources, expertise)
– Coordination protocols that link various government actors and services
– Accountability mechanisms to verify government’s good actions
The fourth set of indicators reviews government support for social work. The Index places a high value on the status of social workdue to the key role it plays within the public sector to administer child protection mechanisms and services.