Local surveys

The Good Childhood ProgrammeChildren at bus stop

The Good Childhood team develops a child-centred programme of work around assessing children and young people’s subjective well-being in schools, communities and local authorities. Read our latest survey of children and young people run in partnership with Portsmouth City Council.

The well-being survey

The well-being survey is used to assess children’s well-being and covers a wide range of circumstances, from family relationships and school experience through to ideas about improving the area where they live. The survey is anonymous, children are not asked to give their name or any other detail other than their age and gender. The survey has been developed with the University of York and with their support and validation the survey has been used to gather the experiences of more than 42,000 children across England.

The national picture

Each set of local findings can be compared with our national research. The survey also has the capacity to be used as a benchmarking tool that enables a school or service to assess the well-being of young people on an annual basis and to consider how interventions and actions can affect their well-being. Of course it is not just concerns and needs that are identified but also things to celebrate and to identify where children in a local area are doing well. 


Interactive consultation session

The next step sees us consult with children and young people to gain their perspective of the survey results and to amplify the findings. We can also consult with younger and disabled children directly instead of using the Good Childhood survey. This consultation provides children and young people with time and space to tell us what really matters to them. Methods of consultation are designed to be fun and interactive. 

Local Good Childhood events

The consultations with the survey results are compiled into a report and then become a key element of our Good Childhood events. We facilitate these events in local communities and for professional groups to take forward into actions that improve local settings and facilities for children and young people.

Tops and pants consultation activity in Chester

Tops and pants consultation activity in Chester.


In 2009 The Children's Society published The Good Childhood Inquiry, a ground breaking report into childhood in the 21st Century and since then has been helping communities to respond to the needs and concerns of children and young people.  Since 2011 The Children’s Society has produced an annual report into the subjective well-being of children across the nation. In order to help communities understand those needs and concerns, the national well-being survey has been adapted so it can be applied to local situations.