- November 2007
- Vol. 8, No. 10
Knowledge Development Through Children's Bureau Funding
A recent journal article describes how the Children's Bureau is taking a knowledge-development approach to grantmaking. According to the article, the Children's Bureau has structured its discretionary grant programs so that they maximize knowledge development and help the child welfare field move toward more evidence-based policy and practice. This emphasis places higher standards on grantees and highlights the knowledge gained from research and demonstration projects and how this knowledge can be used to inform policymakers and direct program and practice staff.
Three strategies help to keep the focus of the discretionary grants on knowledge development:
- Grant applicants are required to submit a logic model and allocate a certain percentage of the project budget for outcome evaluation.
- After making the awards, the Children's Bureau monitors the grant projects, working closely with grantees to provide technical assistance and promote the development of local research networks.
- The Children's Bureau disseminates the knowledge derived from the projects in a purposeful and planful way, including through its clearinghouse, Child Welfare Information Gateway.
The article provides two examples of Children's Bureau grant clusters that illustrate the Bureau's commitment to knowledge development and management:
- The Quality Improvement Centers on Child Protective Services and Adoption, first funded in 2001 to increase regional involvement in research, demonstration projects, and dissemination
- The Family Connections Prevention Replication Projects, funded in 2004 to incorporate features that would contribute to knowledge development about child abuse and neglect prevention strategies
The Children's Bureau continues to improve its processes for knowledge development and management. This involves determining which information should be disseminated widely and which should be made available to smaller, more targeted audiences. In pursuing an effective knowledge development and management policy, the Children's Bureau effort is part of a larger trend to increase accountability and maximize Federal investment to move the field of child welfare toward more evidence-based policy and practice.
The full article, "Children's Bureau Discretionary Grants: Knowledge Development Through Our Research and Demonstration Projects," by Melissa Lim Brodowski, Sally Flanzer, Catherine Nolan, Jan Shafer, and Elyse Kaye, was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, Vol. 4 (No. 3/4), 2007. It is available from Haworth Press: