Research & Evaluation
Office of Data, Analysis, Research and Evaluation (ODARE)
ACYF's Office of Data, Analysis, Research and Evaluation (ODARE) is located within the Office of the Commissioner (OC), and provides research, program evaluation, and statistical support for the OC, the Children’s Bureau (CB), and the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). ODARE provides a variety of services for ACYF including: administrative data management, analysis, and dissemination; background research; staff research training; performance measurement and monitoring; and coordination with other agencies in the areas of evaluation design, data collection, and research frameworks.
ODARE contains many highly trained research statisticians, social scientists, and analysts, from a variety of disciplines including Sociology, Psychology, Social Work, Social Policy, Human Development, and Public Health.
ACYF Data Briefs
- A Temporary Haven: Children and Youth are Spending Less Time in Foster Care: This research brief highlights the gains the foster care system has made in safely discharging youth from foster care in a timely manner, particularly those entering foster care for the first time.
- A National Look at the Use of Congregate Care in Child Welfare: This data brief, developed by the Children’s Bureau, presents trends from the AFCARS to help policymakers and advocates at the state and federal level better understand the population of children and youth who are likely to experience congregate care, and what additional supports may be needed to further reduce reliance on this placement setting.
- Data Brief 2013-1: Recent Demographic Trends in Foster Care: Over the last decade, the U.S. foster care population has undergone a substantial reduction in size and experienced a shift in its racial and ethnic composition. This data brief summarizes those changes and provides new geographic detail.
We prepare a wide array of presentations for conferences, meetings and other purposes. We have provided some of our PowerPoint slides here as PDFs for the public. Please contact the authors of the presentation before quoting or using in other publications, as our data and modes of analysis are dynamic and may change over time.
- March 8, 2016: Presentation by Dr. Kurt Heisler at ‘How to Understand Government Data Analytics’ GovLoop training'
There are several major reports prepared by the Office of Data, Analysis, Research and Evaluation that span child abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption, and other child welfare related topics.
- Child Maltreatment Report: This annual report presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States.
- Child Welfare Outcomes Report to Congress: This report to Congress provides information on the performance of states in seven outcome categories and also includes data on contextual factors and findings of analyses conducted across states.
- Qualitative Research Methods in Program Evaluation: This document supports federal program officers as they develop and oversee projects that include program evaluations that use qualitative methods. It includes questions federal staff can ask themselves or their evaluators to aid decision-making and to work with evaluators to be clear about their methodological choices, time-planning, and budgeting.
- Adoption and Foster Care Trends and Reports
- National Youth in Transition Database Data Briefs
Child Welfare Data for Secondary Analysis
The National Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) makes the datasets available to researchers at the record level, for secondary analysis. Please contact them if you’d like to obtain a dataset for your own research or if you have questions about the data.