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THE FORMAL REPORT GUIDELINES

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THE FORMAL REPORT GUIDELINES Powered By Docstoc
					           THE FORMAL REPORT GUIDELINES
                   AND SAMPLES

 Pages 1 & 2
 Title
     Clear
     Precise reflects subject clearly and
      precisely
     May include date, location, specific
      group, issue
     Distinctive font

 Report Card 2000
 Child Poverty in Canada
 Provide general background information to
 establish context and topic of report:
 Quotes
 Statistics
 Charts
 Graphs
 Quote, official record, expert, authority:

  As the 11th anniversary of the House of Commons unanimous
  resolution "to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating
  poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000,"
  approaches, the goal remains elusive.

  One in five children in Canada still lives in poverty – An
  increase of 402,000 since 1989: "We are a nation of
  unmatched diversity and tolerance, ... A nation unshakably
  committed to ensuring that none of our people is left behind as
  we move ahead... This means ensuring that all Canadian
  children have the best possible start in life."
                  Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Summer 2000
                                                                1
 Overview statistics to introduce issue:
 Statistics, charts, graphs
 Current
 Accurate
 Clear
 Explained & integrated into report

 Since 1989
 Poor children                                 43%
 Children in families with incomes less than
 $20,000 (in constant 1998 dollars)            27%

 Children in working poor families             55%
 Poor children in 2-parent families            35%
 Poor children in lone parent families         49%
 And, the rate of children in families
 receiving social assistance                   18%

 Children in families experiencing
 Long-term unemployment                        7%
 Low birth weight babies (1989-1996)           5%
 Rate of infant mortality (1991-1997)          14%




                                                     2
Provide notes of clarification and definitions:
 Where necessary and relevant
 Brief and to the point
 Useful to the reader
 Essential to related item


 1. Poor children are those living in families whose total
    income before taxes falls below the Low Income Cut-Off
    (LICO) as defined by Statistics Canada. Numbers in 1989
    use 1986-base LICO and numbers for 1998 use 1992-base.

 2. Child is defined as a person under the age of 18 living
    with parent(s) or guardian(s), excluding those who are
    unattached individuals, those that are the major income
    earner or those who are the spouse or common law partner
    of the major income earner.

 3. All measurements reflect change between 1989 and 1998
    unless otherwise identified. Data for 1989 through 1995
    prepared by Canadian Councilor Social Development
    (CCSD) using Statistics Canada's Survey of Consumer
    Finances 1997 microdata files and data for 1996 through
    1998 prepared by CCSD from Statistics Canada's Survey of
    Labour and Income Dynamics. Recent changes in the way
    Statistics Canada collects income information account for
    why data estimates in this report card may vary slightly from
    information published in previous years.




                                                                3
   Pages 3&4
  Present a complete position statement with
   detailed background information
   Introduce issue, context, point of view
   Reflect the subject and purpose of report
   Reinforce larger social, cultural values
   Provide overview: issue, subject, purpose
   Refer to goals and objectives of report
   Refine/define terms and definitions

   A Place for Every Child: Building an Inclusive Society
Campaign 2000 believes that the best way to improve the life
chances of low-income children is to improve the conditions for all
children. To build an inclusive society, we must reduce inequality
and ensure that every citizen has opportunities to be involved. We
believe that every child in Canada must be endowed from birth with
public assurances of the essentials necessary to secure her/his
basic well-being and to support the realization of her/his inherent
worth as a person and as a member of Canadian society. We are
encouraged that Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial
governments have committed themselves to develop the National
Children's Agenda which setout goals which are complementary to
our vision of an inclusive society. An inclusive society will nurture
and welcome the participation of all children, support their choices,
value their contributions and safe-guard their integrity. An inclusive
society will ensure that there is a place for every child with safe,
secure housing in a child-friendly neighbourhood with well-
resourced and accessible educational, cultural, recreational and
community support services.

                                                                         4
Quotes & expert statements support your
 position
 Credible
 Current
 Recognizable experts and authorities
 Use sources accurately

 UNICEF described children in relative poverty
 as the "twilight world in which ... physical
 needs may be minimally catered for, but ...
 painfully excluded from the activities and
 Advantages that are considered normal by
 their peers." UNICEF. Child Poverty in Rich Nations. Innocent Report
 Card. Issue No. 1. June 2000.

 To build support for your position
 Explain terms as they appear in your report
 Provide examples that clarify and illustrate
 Support and clarify argument throughout report
 Restate position and thesis frequently

 .
     Poverty is a social measure, well beyond a tally of the basic
 survival needs of children and their families. Campaign 2000
 and others reporting on poverty most frequently use the
 Statistics Canada Low Income Cut-Off (LICO). While Canada
 has no official poverty line, Statistics Canada has noted that the
 LICO is a consistent way of identifying those who are
 "substantially worse off than average". A family at or below
 LICO is one, which spends more than 55% of its income on
 food, shelter, and clothing. In opinion surveys, Canadians
 regularly report that the LICO is reasonable.


                                                                        5
Background statistics and reports support
statements and arguments
 Present clear statement of issue
 Identify and explain causes and effects
 Relate history, background, expected outcomes,
  consequences

 Include related issues: economics, health,
  education

 Analyze each cause and its effects
 Explain problems (solutions come later)

 Refer to official organizations, references that
  also recognize the problem, the causes and the
  effects

 Combine short paragraphs of text with bullet
  points, illustrations, charts and graphs
Economic Growth Not Having Major Impact On Reducing
Child Poverty In 1990s
Child poverty grew to a record high in the early 90s as Canada experienced
deep recession and high unemployment. Cyclical declines in child poverty
levels are expected to occur when GDP grows. As the decade ends,
Canada's economy continues to grow and unemployment is decreasing. Yet,
the child poverty rate is just starting to decrease, and not as steeply as the
economic growth might suggest. It is clear that we cannot rely on economic
growth alone to have major effect on reducing the rate of child poverty




                                                                                 6
      Adequate Income and Child Development: Key
      Determinants of a Healthy Population
Researchers agree that adequate income and a healthy start in
life have a long-term impact on the well being of children. Low-
income children are:
     More than twice as likely to have low levels of vision,
     Hearing, speech, mobility, dexterity, cognition and emotion;
     Less likely to have an annual visit to the dentist;
     More likely to be exposed to environmental contaminants.
     ANNUAL CHANGES TO GDP AND CHILD POVERTY
    RATES, 1980-1998
    References and citations:
       Must quote all sources accurately
       Be careful to avoid plagiarism
       Use APA format



      1 - Figures obtained from Statistics Canada's Published Rates
      (1992 LICO base) in Income Distributions by Size, 1997
      (Catalogue no. 13-207-XPB) and Income in Canada, 1998
      (Catalogue no. 75-202-XIE).


      2 - Figures obtained from Statistics Canada's Canadian
      Economic Observer –Historical Statistical Supplement 1998/99
      (Catalogue no. 11-210-XPB).




                                                                      7
        Pages 5 & 6
  Further develop and define the problem, the
  causes, the effects
   Identify variety of sources, supports
   Use charts, graphs, indicators, statistics
      Repeat definitions/terms if necessary
   Having defined causes (poverty) explain effects
    provide statistics but always interpret them for
    the reader

  PERSISTENT POVERTY RISKS EXCLUDING MORE THAN
  1 MILLION CHILDREN FROM THE OPPORTUNITY TO
  SUCCEED
  Statistics: In 1989, 936,000 children, or about 1 out of 7, were
  poor; by 1998, 1,338,000 children, or 1 out of 5, were poor.
  Interpretation and meaning: Despite growing economic
  prosperity, the child poverty rate remains at the same level as
  during the recession. While the number of low-income children
  is beginning to decline, too many children cannot afford to
  participate in school field trips, have a birthday party, or join an
  organized sports team.

Many Families Still Struggling to Lift Themselves Out of
Poverty

Defining terms and definitions: More and more families live far
below the poverty line. The amount that it would take to bring the
average poor family up to the poverty line is called the depth of
poverty. The average poor family lives $9,489 below the poverty
line. The depth grew from 1989 through 1996. Although the depth
of poverty has begun to decrease, too many families have seen
their situation deteriorate over the past decade.


                                                                         8
Insert appropriate quotes and support
information throughout the report
 Always provide source information immediately
  with the quote, chart, graph


The amount required to lift the 1,338,000 children in
Canada out of poverty is $12.7 billion. By investing a
substantial proportion of our prosperity in our children
we can make a difference in their lives and our future.

"The National Children's Agenda . . . is a commitment
to take action as a country - with cooperation from
governments, communities, businesses, voluntary
organizations and citizens - to ensure that children
have the best possible start in life."
Source: Federal Provincial territorial Council on Social Policy
Renewal. Public Report on Public Dialogue on the National
Children’s Agenda Developing a Shared Vision. 2000




Rate of Child Poverty Varies Widely
Newfoundland         31,000                  25.1%
PEI                  4,200                   12.4%
Nova Scotia          40,200                  19.1%
New Brunswick        30,500                  18.0%
Quebec               388,500                 23.8%
Ontario              471,500                 17.5%
Manitoba             63,800                  23.6%
Saskatchewan         48,300                  18.7%
Alberta              128,800                 17.1%
British Columbia     131,100                 14.8%
PROVINCE NUMBER OF POOR
Source: Prepared by Canadian Council on Social Development,
using Statistics Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics,
1998. CHILDREN IN 1998
RATE OF CHILD




                                                                  9
Specific information as support

 Provide specific client information, and target data
with specifics for cause and effect of issue

 Develop cause and effect using transition words

 CAUSE: because, when, as, since
 EFFECT: therefore, then, subsequently, as a result,
consequently afterwards, later,

 Lone Mothers Move from Social Assistance
 Poverty to Labour Market Poverty
 The federal government relinquished its role in shaping
 family/child policy with the 1995 demise of the Canada
 Assistance Plan. Subsequently, provinces tightened eligibility
 for social assistance, often the last resort for lone mothers, and
 decreased social assistance rates. At the same time, provinces
 designed policies that channel female lone parents into the
 labour market, but without the necessary supports such as
 training, affordable quality childcare and access to
 transportation. As a result, many lone mothers moved from
 social assistance poverty to labour market poverty. The number
 of children living in families led by lone mothers who worked full
 time for the full year, but were still poor increased 61% from
 1996 to 1998.




                                                                  10
 Note the sources immediately after the information

Case Study: Provides a sample/example of
your information to illustrate and reinforce
your point on causes or effects

Helen’s Story
Helen is a 45-year-old lone mother with one child living in Saint
John, New Brunswick. After struggling to find a job she is
currently working but in a very different position than her
previous (public sector) one. "… to come home and to go down,
down, down and end up on social assistance. It's not a good
trip. I don't need a lot of money. There's poor and there's
sometimes desperate when there's no money, no food … you
know what I mean. What are you going to do? I've had better
jobs and I've made more money but … they've cut a lot of jobs
so I'm lucky to still be there. But there's no movement up, just
moving out the door, that's the sad thing.

Source: Campaign 2000. The Relationship between Low Income Lone
Mothers and Reliable Child Care: A Preliminary Study. (in progress).

CHILD




                                                                   11
Pages 7 & 8

Unity of Argument

 Keep focussed on the argument and the previous
  points you’ve made: single mother, child,
  employment issues, childcare
 Build on those issues by following the argument
  piece by piece

 Public Investments Protect Children from Poverty
 There are not enough good jobs that enable families to lift
 themselves out of poverty. Social expenditures including the
 GST credit, the Child Tax Benefit and Employment Insurance
 have prevented many children from sliding into poverty. In 1998
 alone, 596,000 children were kept out of poverty as a result of
 public investment. We now have considerable financial capacity
 to expand this public investment.




  After explaining the problem and the
   causes, provide solutions, identify steps
  The solutions will become recommendations
 Better jobs required to eliminate child poverty: More than
 579,000 children lived in families in which the parents
 together had a full year of employment, yet they were still
 poor.




                                                                12
Support your analysis with more examples
and statistics and interpretations.

  Full-time jobs grew only 2% from 1989-1998; at the same
   time, part-time paid jobs grew by 16% and the number of
   self-employed workers increased by 40%. Almost three-
   quarters of the increase in self-employment was in
   business with no employees. The jobs paid women, on
   average, $14,800 per year in 1996.
  37% of lone mothers in the labour force earn less than
   $10 per hour; in contrast, 26.5% of all employees earn
   less under $10 (annual income of $18,000 for a 35 hour
   work week).
  The gap between the minimum wage and the hourly wage
   needed to reach the poverty line ranges from $4.35 in
   Saskatchewan to $6.06 in Manitoba.




                                                            13
Pages 9 & 10

Provide details and build a case
 Examples, more statistics, and expert references
   restate clear causes and effects

Who is poor?
Statistics Canada Census 1996, custom tabulation for
Canadian Council on Social Development. Aboriginal refers to
those persons who identified themselves with being North
American Indian, Métis, or Inuit. Visible minority persons are
defined under the Employment Equity Act (1986) as those
(other than Aboriginal persons) who arena-Caucasian in race or
non-white in colour. Persons with disabilities are identified
based on their responses to questions regarding their activity
limitations or disabilities. Poor families are as diverse as non-
poor families.
Most poor children live in a 2 parent family, led by an adult who
is in his/her late thirties and who has graduated from high
school. In general, poor families live-in rental accommodations
in a large community and earn most of their income from work,
or a combination of work and social assistance. In general,
families tend to move in and out of poverty. Children are more
likely to be poor if they live in a lone parent family,
or with a parent who has less education. However, a child
belonging to a family with greater advantages can also easily
slide into poverty because of illness, job losses, difficulties in
the workplace due to a lack of supports such as child care, or
the lack of child support.

                                                                     14
Case Study# 2
Prepares reader for next section on youth,
education, success, and family survival
Jack, 56, and Sharon, 50, live with their two children, who are
10 and 18 years, in suburban Toronto. They consider
themselves lucky to have a decent place to live and at least one
steady income that is just below the poverty line of $33, 000 for
a family of four. Jack's job in the wholesale garment industry
has been steady but he never knows when it may change.
Sharon lost her job five years ago when the store where she
worked closed and she has been unsuccessful in getting
Permanent work. Their older son hopes to go to university and
is working part-time to save for tuition. Right now, their ten-
year-old daughter is finding it very difficult to keep friends since
she is often not able to participate in sports or field trips
because of the cost. She has been a strong student until this
year when her grades have gone down. She really enjoys using
the Internet for schoolwork and pleasure but there’s no
computer at home. Sharon says that her biggest worry is how
to ensure that the children can get what they need to make a
better life for themselves. "We are really struggling to keep this
family together and we will do all that we can."
Source: Case records from Family Service Association of Toronto.
October, 2000.

The case study is now interpreted to a more
general level with research and support
material to develop the argument that poverty
is seriously affecting youth.


                                                                   15
Pages 11 & 12

Youth Face Particular Hurdles in Overcoming
Poverty

Specific clientele/audience:
 Explains current statistics about youth
  employment,
 Relates stats to career, and personal
  growth.
 Explains benefits and current situation
Youth (16-24 years) are entering a critical time of
independence, career development, and family formation.
 The proportion of youth (15-19 years) who have never had
  employment increased substantially between 1989 and
  1996. Youth who were born outside of Canada are less likely
  to have ever had paid work than Canadian-born youth. Paid
  employment provides experience in the labour market,
  opportunity for building skills and broadening networks, and
  helps to develop self-esteem as well as providing income.

Source: Canadian Council on Social Development. 1998. Youth at
Work in Canada: A Research Report.
Note: Two-parent families with children aged 16-19 years. Source:
Canadian Council on Social Development using Statistic's Canada's
Survey of Consumer Finances 1994-1997.

Identifies problems around education; costs,
access, poverty related
 In the past decade, the cost of post-secondary education in
  Canada increased 125.8% on average. Consequently,
  average student debt levels currently exceed $25,000, an
  increase of 69% since 1990 in the amount owed to student
  loan programs two years after graduation. These
  psychological and economic burdens are pricing university
  education beyond the means of low and modest income
  families.

                                                                16
New topic of childcare: related to youth, cause
 and effect, benefits, and restrictions

Note ways of introducing research:
 Research shows
 Reports indicate
 Studies have shown
 According to

 Quality childcare services still not available
 Nor affordable for most families
 Quality childcare services have the potential to support all
 families in providing enriching child development and enable
 parents to attend school, job training, and work. Research
 shows that participation in high quality early childhood care
 and education enhances language and social development and
 the chance of school success. Yet, progress on making
 childcare and early childhood development services more
 widely available and affordable has been quite limited.

  There are only enough regulated childcare spaces to serve 1
   out of every 10 children under 12 years in Canada. Less
   than 1 in 3 of the children using regulated childcare have
   a fee subsidy.
  The number of child care fee subsidies far from meets the
   need. The proportion of children in regulated childcare
   receiving subsidies went down from 36% in 1992 to 31% in
   1998, suggesting that access to child care services has
   become even more limited for low income families.




                                                                 17
 Vary the format depending on the
  information but always interpret the
  information even in bullet points, lists or
  charts
 Build your argument by moving from the
  least important to the most important or
  information
 Be sure your headings are very exact to
  introduce reader to the information

Lack of Safe, Secure, Affordable Housing

   289,000 families with children were a large proportion of
    the 834,000 households paying more than 50% or more
    of their income on rent in 1996.

   The production of social housing across Canada
    decreased dramatically from close to 10,000 units in 1989
    to only 1,500 new social housing units in 1998.

   At the end of 1998, there were 100,000 households
    waiting for social housing in 14 of the large urban centres
    across Canada.

   The fastest growing population requiring emergency
    shelters is families with children.

   Almost twice as many low-income families as middle and
    upper income families report that their neighbourhoods
    are not safe for children to play outside or in local parks
    and playgrounds.

Food bank use up despite healthy economic growth
 40% (estimated 256,406) of food bank users are children,
  although only 26% of Canada's population is children.
 The majority of food bank users receive social assistance,
  yet a growing number describe themselves as working poor
  and recipients of E.I., C.P.P.
 Parents report giving up meals in order to provide for their
  children.

                                                              18
     Pages 13 & 14
 Provincial to federal to national/ international
  scope of analysis; not simply Canadian

 Expand vision and analysis to larger picture
  compare and contrast similar situations,
  organizations, programmes, governments
  "The persistence of child poverty in rich countries undermines
  both equality of opportunity and commonality of values. It
  therefore confronts the industrialized world with a test both of its
  ideals and of its capacity to resolve many of its most intractable
  social problems." Unicef Child Poverty in Rich nations. Innocenti
  Report card. No 1. June 2000.

  European nations' comprehensive approach
  results in low levels of child poverty
  Canada's top rating in the United Nation's (UN) Human
  Development Index (HDI) is often used in references to our
  country as "the best country in the world in which to live." In terms
  of child poverty, UNICEF reports that Canada ranks 17th among
  23 of the” rich nations club,” those countries belonging to the
  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
  (OECD). As a signatory to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the
  Child, Canada needs to do a much better job at fulfilling children's

  rights to "a standard of living adequate for physical, mental,
  spiritual, moral and social development." UNICEF concludes that
  the difference between how countries perform in relation to child
  poverty is related to how each sets priorities. Most of the nations
  that fare better than Canada in tackling child poverty mitigate the
  negative impact of unemployment and low wages through
  substantial investments in comprehensive family policies that
  include income security for families, generous unemployment
  benefits, affordable housing, child care and other forms of
  assistance.

                                                                    19
 3.9%
 Address the current situation, policies,
 procedures

 How is the problem is currently being solved?


 Are the current strategies effective?


 Can you include an index, chronology, logs,
  policies, legislation, development of problem and
  issues?

 What actions have governments taken to
 help children in 2000?
 Announced additional funding for the Canada Child
 Tax Benefit (CCTB) in Federal Budget 2000 and
 Economic Statement 2000 and indexation of CCTB.
 Enhancement to the CCTB means that by 2005, the maximum CCTB
 benefit for the family's first child will be $2,500. Given that the average
 depth of poverty for a low income family is $9,489, this is clearly only
 a partial step toward a long term plan to address child poverty. The
 indexation of the CCTB means families will receive the full value of this
 public investment. This is an important policy change which
 Campaign 2000 and others had consistently proposed.

 Extended Employment Insurance benefits from 6
 months to 1 year
 The federal budget extended maternity and parental leave benefits
 under EI to one year from six months. This is an important move to
 assist families in balancing work and family responsibilities. More
 action is needed to raise the level of benefits and to ensure that all
 parents, including the self-employed, can access leave with benefits.

 Enhanced tax assistance for children and youth with Disabilities
 The supplement to the Disability Tax Credit for children with severe
 disabilities requiring full-time home care by a parent was increased to
 $500, and other enhanced tax measures to help to ease the cost of
 raising children and youth with disabilities were approved.




                                                                               20
Progress on the National Children's Agenda through the
First Ministers' Agreement on Early Childhood Development Services
which commits the federal government to five-year funding and an on-
going process to work with the provinces/territories

First Ministers agreed to work together to promote healthy pregnancy,
birth and infancy; to improve parenting and family supports; to
strengthen early childhood development, learning and care; and to
strengthen community supports. The federal government will allocate
$300 million in the first year, increasing to $500 million annually. It is
essential that all governments invest in each of the agreed-upon areas
in order to implement a comprehensive agenda for young children in
Canada.

Federal tax relief lacks equity for low income families
As Canada enters the 21st century, the projected net federal surplus
of at least $12 billion per year allows us to make the necessary
investments to promote the well-being of children. General tax cuts fail to
meet the needs of families who work for low wages, require child care,
or live on meager social assistance incomes. Tax relief that effectively
helps families must meet the tests of horizontal and vertical equity
as demonstrated in the following tables.

1 The Government of Quebec agrees with the objectives of the National
Children’s Agenda. However, the Government of Quebec has decided not
to participate in its development because it wishes to assume full control
over programs aimed at families and children within its territory.
Furthermore, the Government of Quebec has not signed the Social Union
Framework Agreement. Consequently, any references to joint federal-
provincial-territorial positions in this text do not include Quebec.




                                                                             21
Pages 15 & 16

Conclusions, recommendations, next steps
 often numbered and referenced in order of
  process, chronology action plan use
 Direct recommendations to a specific
  organizations, ministry, agency, chair/executive
  director, policy branch/decision-maker
 Provide realistic, measurable recommendations
  including timeframe, participants, costs, process
 Action verbs, active (not passive)
 Positive rather than negative steps and actions
 Identify the clear benefits and solutions in each
  recommendation
 Consistent tense and form
 Consistent sentence/phrase structure

Campaign 2000 proposals for 2001
We propose that the federal government:

1. Present a five-year social investment plan for Canada's
children, which will make it possible to implement a full National
Children’s Agenda for all children in Canada. The plan will
include a mix of income, community service, and housing and
labour market initiatives.

2.    Redirect at least 1.5% of the projected GDP to federal
investments in children and families to create an equal
opportunity from birth for every child and a healthy start
for every parent.

 Begin immediate implementation of the increase to the
  Canada Child Tax Benefit and commit to a consolidated child
  benefit with a maximum of $4,200 per child at a projected
  cost of $9 billion. This benefit will raise the standard of
  living for families in poverty and vastly improve child
                                                                22
  benefits for modest income families while contributing to the
  costs of raising children for middle-income families.

 Increase the federal investment in early childhood
  development services to $2 billion for the first year,
  increasing over the five years to at least $6 billion as
  provinces/territories develop ECD services and their
  investment strategy. The increased investment is essential if
  provinces are to have the resources to develop all the
  ECD services, in particular childcare, which is an
  essential core service.

 Allocate at least $1 billion to create a minimum of 20,000
  new affordable housing units.

 Freeze and lower tuition fees for post-secondary studies
  across Canada through reinvestment in transfers to the
  provinces/territories.

3. Establish a national commission with the provinces to
develop strategies to improve the availability of jobs with
adequate wages that enable families to avoid poverty.




                                                               23

				
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