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Research to Practice Initiative: About the Program

CWLA developed the Research to Practice (R2P) Initiative in 2001 to increase its capacity to provide member agencies and the field with practical information about well-researched methods, practices, and programs. The R2P Initiative is a key component of CWLA's Strategic Plan for 2000 through 2010. R2P is focused on identifying the best practices and programs in child welfare and related fields, as well as promoting and supporting their implementation.

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice: What Is R2P?

The R2P Initiative focuses on presenting relevant research information to the practice community, especially individuals and agencies providing services to children and families. R2P's primary responsibilities are to:
  • conduct systematic reviews and syntheses of research literature in key practice and policy areas;

  • disseminate information about successful, evaluated programs and practices, pertinent research, and implications for practice;

  • support and promote the implementation of well-researched and well-evaluated programs or practices that will positively affect people, organizations, and systems; and

  • encourage the use of program evaluation and outcome measurement.

How Does R2P Disseminate Information?

R2P has built on the existing foundation of CWLA and disseminates the R2P information in a number of accessible ways:

Focus on the Child and Family Service Reviews

In the wake of the initial round of federal Child and Family Service Reviews (CFSRd), both public child welfare agencies and their private agency partners are developing and implementing Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) designed to strengthen their performance in the areas of child safety, permanence, and well-being. R2P believes the consideration of research-based practices and service delivery approaches in the PIP implementation process can lead to both improved performance and more effective use of agency resources.

Together with CWLA's National Center for Field Consultation, R2P has designed and field-tested tools, materials, and workshop formats that provide guidance in the process of practice needs assessment, planning, and implementation of changes necessary to move practice toward compliance with the CFSR indicators. These materials summarize research in critical practice areas such as staff performance and retention, assessment, family skills building, family preservation, and reunification, in a format that makes it more easily accessible to agency planners and practitioners.

How Can You Become Involved?

If your agency has an effective program and an evaluation component to support your track record of success, you can become involved in the R2P Initiative. Now you have an opportunity to share your successful program development and implementation experiences with others! The research/evaluation component may have been conducted by your agency research staff, by an outside individual or group, or by a university or local college. Research findings or results may be quantitative and/or qualitative in nature. The R2P team has developed evaluative tools to examine a program's existing research and will work closely with the sponsoring agency to determine its appropriateness for the R2P Initiative.

R2P Wants to Hear From You!

If you are familiar with a program or practice suited for R2P, we want to hear from you. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate what is working in your community and for others to benefit from your experiences. Contact us with your program descriptions and evaluations, questions, comments, or suggestions.

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