The Children’s Bureau funds research in collaboration with other organizations and drafts reports to Congress, as required by law.
Results From the National Child Welfare Information Study, 2020 - This report presents results from a national research study, which was conducted by Child Welfare Information Gateway with funding from the Children’s Bureau, to better understand how child welfare professionals who work in state and local child welfare agencies, with tribes, and in courts access information and use technology to inform their practice.
Child Welfare Systems' Responses to Children of Color, 2000–2004 - This project was funded to review research examining the child welfare system's response to children of color, identify programs and practices that address perceived racial or cultural disparities within the system, and pilot intensive qualitative observational studies on policies and practices regarding services for children of color in the child welfare system.
Family Preservation and Family Support Services Program (FP/FS), 1994–2002 - This study evaluated how states and communities implemented the FP/FS program, the ways in which program implementation altered the preexisting service delivery system, and the effects this had on service delivery.
Feasibility of Evaluating the State Court Improvement Program Volume I: Final Report and Feasibility of Evaluating the State Court Improvement Program Volume II: Evaluability Assessment Site Visit Summaries - The purpose of these 2003 evaluability assessments was to determine the feasibility of evaluating state Court Improvement Program projects.
Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4), 2004–2009 - The NIS-4 was mandated by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108–36). The study provided updated estimates of the incidence of child abuse and neglect in the United States; measured changes in these estimates from earlier studies; and examined the incidence of child maltreatment in relation to various subgroups defined by the child, family, or household characteristics. A report to Congress is available (see below).
Implementation of Promoting Safe and Stable Families by Indian Tribes (PSSF), 2001–2003 - The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which Indian tribes used funds received under title IV-B, subpart 2, to provide services that strengthen families' abilities to care for their children.
Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN): Ages 0–18 - This webpage provides information about this consortium of research studies. It includes a user's guide (data codebook) and a list of publications based on the data.
Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs (Chafee Independent Living Evaluation Project), 2001–2010 - The goal of this project was to identify programs that could be rigorously evaluated and determine the effects of the John Chafee Foster Care Independence Program on achieving key outcomes for participating youth. This evaluation was established by the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999.
National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 1997–2014 and 2015–2022 - The purpose of NSCAW was to assess outcomes for children and families who come in contact with the child welfare system.
Terminating the Parental Rights of Older Children (TPR), 2003–2004 - This project provided a descriptive study of the effects of the termination of parental rights on older youth in foster care and their foster care and adoptive experiences.
Reports to Congress
Biennial Reports on the Effectiveness of Programs Receiving CAPTA Funding - These reports provide information about state programs receiving assistance under section 106 of CAPTA and the federal training and technical assistance states receive to help them achieve the desired program improvements specified in their CAPTA and other federally mandated plans.
Report to Congress: Feasibility of Uniform Data Collection on "Shaken Baby Syndrome" or Abusive Head Trauma - This 2015 report meets the requirement to conduct a feasibility assessment of the mandated report on abusive head trauma. It identifies related federal activities and includes a literature review, stakeholder discussions, and information on the benefits and costs involved.
A Report to Congress on Adoption and Other Permanency Outcomes for Children in Foster Care: Focus on Older Children – This 2005 report describes the challenges associated with achieving permanency for older children in foster care and promising strategies being employed across the country to address these issues.
A Report to Congress on Barriers and Success Factors in Adoptions from Foster Care: Perspectives of Families and Staff Supported by the Adoption Opportunities Program - This 2007 report outlines the findings of two adoption research studies that identified the child, family, and agency factors that presented as barriers or promoters of successful adoptions from foster care.
A Report to Congress on Interjurisdictional Adoption of Children in Foster Care - This report describes the nature, scope, and impact of interjurisdictional adoption placement efforts and the strategies that improve outcomes for children in foster care who are placed for adoption in other jurisdictions.
A Report to Congress on States' Use of Waivers of Non-Safety Licensing Standards for Relative Foster Family Homes - This 2011 report describes state data on the number of children in foster care placed in relative foster family homes, a description and assessment of the types of nonsafety licensing standards waived, and state strategies for increasing licensing among relative caregivers.
Report to Congress on the Effectiveness of Citizen Review Panels - This 2013 report presents the findings of a study that aimed to determine the effectiveness of citizen review panels. The report includes a description of states' compliance with reporting requirements and how states respond to and implement citizen review panel recommendations.
Report to Congress on the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, Supplementary Analysis - This 2014 document was submitted as an interim report to update Congress on a supplementary analysis conducted following the completion of the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Reports on Efforts to Coordinate Programs and Activities Related to Child Abuse and Neglect - These reports describe efforts to coordinate the objectives and activities of agencies and organizations responsible for programs related to child abuse and neglect.
Report to Congress: The Child Welfare System Response to Sex Trafficking of Children - This 2019 report summarizes the current understanding of and efforts related to children who run away from foster care and their risk of trafficking victimization, state efforts to serve children who are sex trafficking victims, and state efforts to support long-term connections to caring adults for children in foster care.
Report to Congress on Immunity From Prosecution for Professional Consultation in Suspected and Known Instances of Child Abuse and Neglect - This 2013 report provides an overview of the information collected from professionals involved with responding to and investigating child abuse and neglect who are affected by immunity issues and provides a summary of state statutes on immunity.
Targeted Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse: First Annual Report to Congress - This report summarizes the activities of the 53 regional partnership grants for addressing the needs of families with methamphetamine or other substance use problems who come to the attention of the child welfare system.