Academic journal article Child Welfare

From the Editor: Improving the Use and Usefulness of Research in Child Welfare

Academic journal article Child Welfare

From the Editor: Improving the Use and Usefulness of Research in Child Welfare

Article excerpt

There is no human services field in which it is more important to determine how to effectively work with clients and promote positive outcomes than in child welfare. The most vulnerable children, youth, and families depend on researchers, scholars and practitioners to do so. Fortunately, child welfare practitioners are increasingly focused on improving their outcomes and being accountable for their practice. Child welfare researchers and scholars are increasingly working collaboratively with practitioners to close the gap between these groups, which has been attributed to a number of factors: limited time and resources of practitioners; lack of adequate training; lack of access to peer-reviewed research journals; lack of feedback and incentives for use of evidence-based policies; the logic and assumptions behind the design of efficacy and effectiveness research trials; and inadequate infrastructure and systems organization to support translation.

Researchers strive to identify, create, and test strategies for improving programs, practices, and policies and to generate research that deepens our understanding of human behavior, child well-being, and development. …

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