When the Center was established in 2007, it was clear that a process of connecting to existing domestic and international researchers would be valuable both to build awareness of the Center’s mission and to form the critical ties that would advance the opportunities for funding and for using and disseminating research.
In addition, there was a need to ascertain from key researchers and those in the child protection community what the perceived priorities are for research, and what research has proven to be most useful. This undertaking -- called the discernment process --involved interviewing 130 participants from 21 sites. Researchers in universities, governmental agencies, and users of research in several state child welfare systems provided crucial insights to set the overall topical agenda for the Center.
Special meetings of researchers were also held on key topical areas to summarize what is known and explore future directions for research and dissemination.
These meetings focused on:
Based on these initial efforts, we determined that certain key areas of work should inform the Center’s agenda, including:
The Center’s current agenda is focused on three strategic research initiative areas:
In each of these areas, specific project work is in progress. There are also funding opportunities to exercise leadership in designing the direction for future work, collaboration with others to build on the development of knowledge and for communication of research findings to advance the field of child protection.