Public child welfare leaders are responsible for creating a data-informed and data-driven agency culture, for setting a research priority and for supporting the agency’s research plan by devoting resources to research efforts. Agency administration, programs and innovations must be tested and rigorously evaluated to demonstrate the effectiveness of approaches implemented to improve outcomes. Agency leaders can explore the following options when seeking funding for research:
Title IVE Funds
Research that improves program administration or training can be funded by leveraging Title IV-E money (this has been successful in States and federal regions that approve this use). Title IV-E administration funds can be used to develop knowledge on how to measure program performance and improve administration.
Private Philanthropic Funds
Leveraging private philanthropic funds as a match to draw down IV-E funds or as a straight contribution toward research is another potential way to obtain IV-E administration funds that can benefit research. Some federal programs require state agencies that apply for funding to include an evaluation plan in the proposal, and specifically allocate funds for evaluation.
A critical point to note about this approach is that the state agency is typically responsible for working with the legislature about the specific funding provisions outlined in federal grant awards and how they will be used.
Some researchers have been able to tap into Centers for Disease Control, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funds in order to study child abuse and neglect and child welfare services.
Some large foundations are supportive of child welfare research -- especially for rigorous evaluation of innovative programs or
when child abuse and neglect overlaps with other populations of concern (e.g., health or substance abuse).