Abuse, Neglect, Adoption & Foster Care View all reports on this topic

Topic Overview

The child welfare research portfolio includes research on children who are maltreated or who are at risk for child maltreatment; children and families who come to the attention of child protective services; and children and families who are receiving child welfare services either in their families of origin or in substitute care settings. OPRE partners with the Children’s Bureau to conduct research covering a broad array of topics, including identification of antecedents and consequences of child maltreatment, strategies for prevention of maltreatment, and service needs and service outcomes for children who come to the attention of child welfare.

Projects on this Topic

  • An Exploratory Study: Implications of Immigration Enforcement Activities for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families, 2012-2014

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has initiated this project to explore...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Next Generation, 2015 - 2022

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated that applying insights from behavioral science to challenges facing human services programs can improve program operations and outcomes at relatively low cost. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency-Next Generation (BIAS-NG) project continues ACF’s exploration...

  • Building Capacity to Evaluate Child Welfare Community Collaborations to Strengthen and Preserve Families 2018 - 2023

    Project Overview

    This project will support the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in its work to advance the evidence around collaborative...

  • Building Capacity to Evaluate Interventions for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH), 2013-2019

    Phase I

    Phase I of this project provides evaluation-related technical assistance to organizations awarded planning grants for the development of interventions for youth with child welfare involvement who are most likely to experience homelessness...

  • Child and Family Development Research – Annual Report

    OPRE’s child and family development work includes research and evaluation projects primarily concerned with child care and child welfare. This portfolio additionally examines the culturally diverse experiences of children and families served by ACF programs.

    Research focuses on five major areas, including: Child Care, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Cultural Diversity, Cross-Cutting Early Childhood Research...

  • Child Maltreatment Incidence Data Linkages (CMI Data Linkages), 2017 - 2020

    The Child Maltreatment Incidence Data Linkages (CMI Data Linkages) project will support ACF in identifying and enhancing existing administrative data linkage practices related to examining the incidence and risk of child maltreatment. Through the design and execution of a multi-site feasibility study, the CMI Data Linkages project will explore how enhancing and scaling innovative data linkage practices can improve our understanding of child maltreatment incidence and related risk and protective factors.

  • Data Sharing Solutions for Human Services, 2017 - 2022

    ACF supports the development and operation of fully integrated systems to support person-centric service delivery.  Integration implies alignment of legal, policy, program, and technology factors that impact our ability to share information.  If we are successful as a community, interoperability will drive progress in...

  • Definitions and Policies Related to the Incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect and Related Risk, 2017 - 2022

    This project will support the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in identifying federal, state, and/or local definitions and policies related to the surveillance of child maltreatment and related risk...

  • Descriptive Study of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program, 2017 - 2021

    The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has awarded a contract to MEF Associates and its subcontractor, Child Trends, to conduct a study to better understand the range of child welfare services and benefits provided through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program. The URM Program serves refugees and...

  • Design Options for Understanding Child Maltreatment Incidence, 2015 - 2017

    In September 2015, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in collaboration with the Children’s Bureau (CB) awarded a contract to Mathematica Policy Research to carry out the Design Options for Understanding Child Maltreatment Incidence. The purpose of this 18-month project is to develop design options for a potential future study or group of studies that would leverage existing administrative data, innovative methods, and advanced statistical techniques to...

  • Domestic Human Trafficking and the Child Welfare Population, 2016 - 2021

    This project will help the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Children’s Bureau to identify and better assist children and youth served by its programs who are victims of, or are at risk of, domestic human trafficking. The project will summarize current understanding of human trafficking and resources addressing human trafficking in the child welfare population

  • Engaging Fathers and Paternal Relatives: A Continuous Quality Improvement Approach in the Child Welfare System, 2017 - 2020

    Evidence suggests that fathers play an important role in children's development and that they can serve as a key source of emotional and financial support. In many social services, however, fathers are...

  • Hispanic Research Work Group, 2011-2014

    ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

  • Homeless Families Research Briefs, 2014-2018

    This contract will produce a series of research briefs on issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. The briefs will be based on data collected as part of the U.S. Department of...

  • Methods Inquiries, 2013-2021

    OPRE plays a central role in advancing understanding and disseminating knowledge about research and evaluation methods and tools that are, or could be, used to enhance knowledge about program and policy effectiveness. The purpose of the Methods Inquiries project is to organize...

  • Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs (Chafee Independent Living Evaluation Project), 2001-2010

    The Children’s Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families has contracted with the Urban Institute and its partners—the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and the National Opinion Research Center...

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) Services Assessment Framework based on Theory (SAF-T), 2016 - 2019

    The National Domestic Violence Hotline (“The Hotline”) and loveisrespect (LIR; the helpline targeted towards young people) are supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) program within the Family and Youth Services Bureau. The Hotline and LIR...

  • National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4), 2004-2009

    In collaboration with the Children’s Bureau, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation is conducting the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4). The National Incidence Studies have been conducted approximately...

  • National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 1997-2014 and 2015-2022

    The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) is a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of children and families who have been the subjects of investigation by Child Protective Services. There have been two cohorts of children enrolled in the survey, which makes available data drawn from first-hand reports from children, parents, and other caregivers, as well as reports from caseworkers, teachers, and data from administrative records.

  • Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Evaluation, 2010–2015

    The Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) is a multi-site federal demonstration project designed to improve permanency outcomes among children in foster care who have the most serious barriers to permanency. This 5-year, $100 million initiative...

  • Planning a Next Generation Evaluation Agenda for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, 2011-2019

    The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) was created following the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The program provides assistance to help youth currently and formerly in foster care achieve self-sufficiency by providing grants to States and eligible Tribes that submit an approvable plan. Activities and programs allowable under the CFCIP include help with education, employment financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care. In addition, the FCIA required that funding be set aside for evaluations of promising independent living programs. In response to this statutory requirement, the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) conducted the Multi-Site Evaluation of Foster Youth Programs, a rigorous, random assignment evaluation of four programs funded under the CFIP. This study was completed in 2011.

  • Secondary Analysis of Data on Child Care and Early Education 2015 - 2017

    The eighteen projects funded under the grant program for Secondary Analyses of Data on Child Care and Early Education are conducting  analyses of existing data sets  to answer critical research questions that will inform both policymakers and future research. Topics include associations between subsidy receipt and long-term child achievement, access to early care and education for low-income families, and links between subsidy rates and child care quality...

  • Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series

    In 2013, OPRE commissioned four interrelated reports focused on self-regulation and toxic stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. Since then, that team and other experts have created multiple practice-oriented resources grounded in the initial reports. Together, these reports and resources comprise the ‘Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series.’ The goal of this series is to communicate the potential of a self-regulation...

  • State Medicaid and Child Welfare Data Linkages for Outcomes Research, 2019 - 2021

    This project is a partnership between the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). It is funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Trust Fund. A contract to support this work will be awarded in September 2019.

    HHS will work with two to four states to...

  • Supporting Evidence Building in Child Welfare, 2016 - 2021

    OPRE has awarded a five-year contract to the Urban Institute to support the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in increasing the number of evidence-supported interventions for the child welfare population by conducting rigorous evaluations and supporting the field in moving toward rigorous evaluations...

  • Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, 2018 - 2023

    Project Overview

    The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to systematically review research on programs and services intended to provide...

  • Touchpoints for Addressing Substance Use Issues in Home Visiting, 2017 - 2020

    The goal of the Touchpoints for Addressing Substance Use Issues in Home Visiting project is to generate knowledge about how home visiting programs, including those funded through HRSA’s and ACF's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, engage and support families around prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use issues. The project will identify evidence-informed practices for working with families, supporting frontline staff, and building collaborations with referral sources. The project will also identify gaps in knowledge on preventing or addressing substance use issues within the context of home visiting.

  • Transitional Living Program Evaluation Studies, 2014-2019

    The 2003 Reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act called for a study of long-term outcomes for youth who are served through the Transitional Living Program (TLP). In response, OPRE and ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) are sponsoring a study that will capture data from youth at program entry and up to 12 months...

  • Tribal TANF-Child Welfare Coordination Data Capacity Building, 2016 - 2021

    The purpose of this project is to provide guidance and support to Tribal TANF Child Welfare Coordination Grantees that promotes excellence in performance measurement, continuous quality improvement, and grantee-led collaborations between child welfare and TANF agencies in their tribal communities. The project is intended to (1) provide guidance to grantees in revising project logic models to align project activities with intended outcomes; (2) provide support for grantees’ identification and collection of performance measures to track project activities and outcomes; (3) provide support to grantees in using data for quality assurance and continuous quality improvement; (4) provide programmatic guidance on ways to strengthen Tribal TANF and Child Welfare coordination in order to strengthen outcomes specified by grantees in their applications; and (5) document these activities and lessons learned. This project will provide universal guidance and peer learning opportunities, as well as grantee specific guidance on a variety of topics which may include identification of measurable goals and objectives, data systems and data privacy, data analysis and interpretation, continuous quality improvement, and dissemination of program successes.

  • Understanding Judicial Decision-Making and Hearing Quality in Child Welfare 2018 - 2022

    Project Overview

    This project will support the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) and the Children’s Bureau (CB) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in developing design options...

  • Understanding Postadoption and Guardianship Instability for Children and Youth Who Exit Foster Care, 2017 - 2020

    For children in foster care, adoption and guardianship represent two important permanency outcomes. However, a finalized adoption or guardianship relationship does not necessarily indicate that a child will experience long-term stability or have a permanent home. The prevalence of post-permanency instability for children or youth...