Building the Knowledge Base
Before we can decide what to do to improve the lives of children and families we have to know something about who they are, where they live, and the nature of the systems in place to support them. Since its inception, the Data Center has relied on social science to generate this mission-critical knowledge.
The cornerstone of the Data Center’s research program is the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive — a high-performance, longitudinal database containing data on approximately 3 million children who spent time in foster care. Using the Archive and other resources, we conduct scientific research on critical challenges facing the field, including:
- The well-being of children served by the child welfare system.
- Child protective services and foster care placement prevention.
- Placement stability, the use of group care, permanency, and foster care re-entry.
- Racial disparity in the child welfare system.
- Resource allocation, performance-based contracting, and other types of fiscal reform.
- The integration of child welfare services with other child- and family-serving systems (e.g., courts, schools, housing, health, and mental health services).
- Implementation of evidence-based practices.
Click the links to the left to learn more about the Data Center’s research program.