Administration for Children, Youth, and Families:

Need To Better Use Its Research Results and Clarify Its Role

HRD-77-76: Published: Mar 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1978.

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The efforts of the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), formerly the Office of Child Development, in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), to disseminate child welfare research and demonstration (R&D) results were examined. The ACYF received $61.6 million in appropriations during fiscal years 1971 through 1975 for its R&D program.

Limited use of the results of projects funded by ACYF have been made by state providers of child welfare services and by state and national groups advocating and coordinating improved services to children. Of 20 projects considered to be nationally significant, service providers were using results in 318 of 830 potential opportunities (38 percent of the time), and coordinators/advocates were using the results in 144 of 680 opportunities (21 percent of the time). The biggest problem is lack of awareness. When providers of services received information about 1 of the 20 R&D projects, they used the information 82 percent of the time, and advocates and coordinators used it 84 percent of the time. Dissemination efforts by project officials and by ACYF have been limited, and state agencies are not aware of R&D findings because they do not actively participate in the R&D planning process.

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