Disparity and Disproportionality

Research

Research offers public child welfare agencies meaningful information about disparities experienced 

by children, youth and families. Research findings from monitoring and evaluation enable the agency 

to use informed decision-making in determining which interventions will help eliminate disparities. 

Research spurs innovation and facilitates continuous improvement by outlining what is needed to 

improve data collection methodologies on disparity and disproportionality issues.

 

While it is true that research can be expensive, public child welfare agencies are able to use 

money from IV-E funding that is set aside for program administration and training to research 

disparity issues at the agency. Funding research on disparities issues can facilitate the agency’s 

understanding of how to create equity for all through improved program operation, administration 

and training effectiveness. Public child welfare agencies can also consider partnering with 

philanthropies and community stakeholders to identify and leverage needed resources for research on 

the issue.

 

Agencies should be willing to make the research findings available to partners and stakeholders. 

Information learned from the research findings helps the agency gain a better understanding of the 

issue. The information can also prompt instructive questions and enable the agency to develop 

solutions. For instance, the agency would not hide or avoid baseline data that revealed entry and 

exit disparities for children of color; instead it would use these data to probe questions that 

would provide understanding as to how and why this has been happening in the agency.

 

Agencies should carefully think through the research questions to be studied, being careful that 

research questions are well designed, objective and avoid bias or personal agendas. Some useful 

research questions to study on the disparity and disproportionality issue might include:

  • Which best practices are effective at eliminating disparities?
  • What training and professional development measures are effective at eliminating disparities? 
  • What are the barriers that the agency faces in eliminating disparities?
  • What are the agency’s areas of strength? And how can these strengths be effectively used to eliminate disparities? 
  • How do other issues such as poverty relate to disparities and disproportionality? What is the relationship?
  • What kind of research is most appropriate for better understanding disparities and disproportionality issues?
  • What capacity is needed to support a comprehensive plan to eliminate disparate treatment?

 

 






    INDUSTRY PARTNER MEMBERS
Platinum
hp
Adobe
KPMG
Northwoods
Maximus
PCG Human Services
esri
Deloitte
Accenture
PROG_Logo_2
IBM
Oracle
CGI_Logo2012_color
Change and Innovation Logo
Optum Logo
spacer2
spacer2
spacer2
Silver
ResCare
Experian
IMPAQlogo(2)
IPR
SAS Logo
spacer
spacer
spacer2
spacer2
Media
Governing Magazine