- What is the National Survey of Children’s Health?
The National Survey of Children’s Health collects information on the physical and mental health and health care needs of American children 0-17 years old. This information can then be used by states and communities to make sure that children and their families have what they need to be healthy and thrive.
- How long has the survey been going on?
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau has been conducting national surveys about children’s health since 2001, when the first National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs was conducted to learn about how special health care needs impact American children and their families. The first National Survey of Children’s Health was conducted in 2003 to help states and communities better understand the health and well-being of all children. Starting in 2016, the survey is being conducted every year to collect information that is up-to-date and accessible to states and communities working to improve the health and well-being of children.
- Why should I participate in the survey?
The survey collects important information on the health and health care needs of American children 0-17 years old. Your participation provides critical information about children in your state and ensures that households like yours are fairly represented.
The results help families, communities, policymakers, child advocates, educators, researchers, and the general public better understand and respond to the health and health care needs of children and families. Your response also helps provide baseline estimates for federal and state Title V Maternal and Child Health performance measures, data for each state's five-year Title V needs assessment, and 15 child health objectives for Healthy People 2030.
- Who sponsors the survey?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau – part of the federal government – sponsors and provides the primary funding and oversight for the survey.
- How is the U.S. Census Bureau involved?
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the survey, oversees the sampling, and produces final public use data sets of the results.
Selection of Survey Participants
- Why was I selected for the survey?
The U.S. Census Bureau chose your address, not you personally, from a scientifically selected sample from a list of ALL mailable addresses in the nation. Only a sample is selected because surveying every address in the country would cost too much and take too long.
- How was my address/household/child chosen?
The U.S. Census Bureau randomly selected your address from all mailable addresses in the nation using scientific sampling methods. The sample is designed so that information collected will accurately describe the health experiences of all children in the United States.
- Do I have to participate in the survey?
No. However, your participation is very important because each person who answers the survey represents thousands of others. Not participating in the survey may mean that children like yours or those in your community will not be represented in the results. Many people find participating to be interesting and enjoyable. You may choose not to answer any question for any reason.
- There are no children in my household. Do I still need to answer the survey?
Yes, even if there are no children in the home, we still need you to respond so that we can get accurate information about the number of children living in the United States.
Answering the Survey
- What kinds of questions does the survey ask?
Survey topics include:
- Access and use of health care services
- Child and family characteristics
- Family health and activities
- Health insurance status, type, and adequacy
- Impact of child’s health on family
- Medical, dental, and specialty care needed and received
- Neighborhood characteristics
- Physical and mental health status, including current conditions and functional difficulties
- How long will it take?
The first part of the survey contains a few questions to determine if you’re eligible to complete a more detailed questionnaire. This first part will take less than 5 minutes to complete. If your household is eligible for the second part of the survey, you will then be asked more detailed questions about one specific child within the household. This second part should take on average 35 minutes depending on your answers.
- What if I do not know an exact answer to a question?
You can ask someone else in your household. They might know the answer. If no one knows or there is no one else in your household, please provide your best guess or estimate.
If you need clarification on what a specific question is asking, please call the U.S. Census Bureau toll-free at 1-800-845-8241 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. TTY users can dial 1-800-877-8339 to use the Federal Relay Service.
- Why does the survey ask such detailed questions?
Detailed information is collected because many of the child health challenges faced by families, communities, and states are complicated. In addition, the survey is the only source of information in the country on some health conditions and needs.
- How do I recover my Web survey Login ID or PIN?
If you have lost or misplaced your Web Login ID and/or PIN, please call the U.S. Census Bureau toll-free at 1-800-845-8241 for assistance. TTY users can dial 1-800-877-8339 to use the Federal Relay Service.
Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security
- What is the legal authority behind the National Survey of Children's Health?
The U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the National Survey of Children's Health on the behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Title 13, United States Code, Section 8(b), which allows the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct surveys on behalf of other agencies, and Title 42, United States Code Section 701(a)(2) which allows the HHS to collect information for the purpose of understanding the health and well-being of children in the United States.
- How is my privacy protected?
The information that you provide is used solely for statistical purposes. All U.S. Census Bureau employees take an oath of confidentiality and are subject to fines or imprisonment for improperly disclosing information. Names and addresses are removed from all forms, and are not included in any statistical release. Also, the National Survey of Children’s Health NEVER asks for:
- Your Social Security number
- Your personal information via email
- Money or donations
- Credit card information
Learn more about U.S. Census Bureau data protection and privacy.
- How can I verify that the survey materials are legitimate?
To verify that the survey materials are legitimate, please call the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-845-8241. TTY users can dial 1-800-877-8339 to use the Federal Relay Service. When contacted about the National Survey of Children's Health, a survey representative can always provide you with their name and interviewer code to confirm employment with the U.S. Census Bureau.
This survey has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number that appears at the bottom left corner of the survey web page, and at the upper left corner of the form confirms this approval. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct this survey.
- For this survey, is it safe to provide my information over the Internet?
Yes. Your information is always encrypted. Our secure servers use "HTTPS," Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer, to ensure the encrypted transmission of data between your browser and the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that instead of sending readable text over the Internet, both your browser and our server encode (scramble) all data using a security key. In addition to data being encrypted during transmission, all data are encrypted for protection when stored on the Census Bureau servers.
- How can I be sure my information is really going to the U.S. Census Bureau and not some third party?
Our secure server uses a digital certificate (digital ID) issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) as proof of identity. The digital ID will contain information such as:
- “U.S. Census Bureau” as the name of the organization that owns the web site
- “respond.census.gov” as the site's registered Internet name/address
- “Verisign Trust Network” as the name of the Certificate Authority under which the digital ID was issued
The method for viewing a web site's Digital Certificate/ID varies depending on the web browser. Please see your browser's "help" information for instructions on how to verify a web site's identity.
- How can I obtain additional information about the National Survey of Children’s Health?
You can find additional information about the survey here:
- How can I respond to the survey or get help?
You can respond in one of the following ways:
- Web questionnaire
- Paper questionnaire
As noted in the letter you received requesting your participation, if you cannot complete the survey by web, you may contact the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-800-845-8241 or email@example.com for assistance. TTY users can dial 1-800-877-8339 to use the Federal Relay Service. You can also contact U.S. Census Bureau if you received a web questionnaire invitation only and prefer to respond by paper.