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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8081
Date: 2009-03-16

Author:Chaffin, Mark J. (HSC)

Subject:RE: grants for child welfare research

Todd,



Its a long story. Basically, IMO, it starts with the fact that child maltreatment research funding is not housed primarily within any single federal research funding agency. So, you will find child maltreatment and child welfare research funded by ACYF/CB/OCAN, NIMH, NICHD, NIDA, CDC, and OJJDP among others. CDC has been particularly active in recent years in funding child abuse research, with an emphasis on prevention oriented research. ACYF/CB/OCAN has a little more of a public child welfare focus. NICHD is more focused on things like how abuse may interact with other factors to affect development. NIMH may fund treatment oriented and services research, as well as things like basic science research on brain related aspects of child trauma. NIDA has funded projects focused on the inter-relationship of maltreatment and addiction. OJJDP may be more interested in things related to crime, but also in the past has funded the evaluation of Parents Anonymous. Part of this reflects the fact that its not entirely clear what maltreatment is. Is it a social problem, a behavioral science or mental health problem, a criminal justice problem, a public health problem, or all of the above?



Within this patchwork, different agencies have different degrees to which child abuse is a formalized (i.e. structural) emphasis for them. For example, CDC has a branch (violence prevention) under which child maltreatment is a formally identified emphasis area and has staff focused on maltreatment. OCAN is aformal staffed office focused on child abuse and child welfare within the CB, and funds some research but also other types of projects (TA and demonstration projects for example). I'm not aware of any counterpart for these formal structures within any of the NIH Institutes or Centers. At NIH, its the the basic scientific category of research (intervention trials, services, psychopathology, etc.) rather than its relevance to maltreatment that determines where it fits. This patchwork of agencies does talk to each other and there is an interagency working group.



There may be some feds on the list who can correct me where I've been wrong or incomplete in this brief overview, so please fill in.



In terms of the net amount of research funding for maltreatment, a few years ago, David Chadwick and colleagues (I think) examined the ratios of research funding for various conditions, relative to the number of people affected by the condition and the condition's impact. Their conclusion was that, relative to other conditions with similar breadth and extent of impact, child maltreatment receives a fairly small amount of research funding (but then what else are child maltreatment researchers going to say!). I think this is clearly true. But the flip side of this, which is not often discussed, is that even if there was a burst of maltreatment research funding, there probably wouldn't be enough qualified researchers to do the work. Many with an interest in maltreatment research come from clinical or applied backgrounds, and its a long road to transition to being an independent researcher given that these backgrounds provide weak research preparation. Very few bright young researchers are interested in maltreatment, and some of those who are leave early because there are greener pastures. So, its not like the NIH is being flooded with high-quality scientific research applications in the child maltreatment area. To sum it up, the bottom line to answer your question, I think, is this: a) there is a little more research in maltreatment being funded than may be readily apparent--its just spread around, sometimes thinly; b) relative to prevalence and impact, it is a low-funded area; and c) there isn't a large number of researchers doing this work.



Mark





________________________________________

From: Todd McDonald [tmac5528@yahoo.com]

Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 4:39 PM

Subject: grants for child welfare research



With all the money going to NIH for new grants it strikes me as odd that the childrens bureau has so little money for child welfare research. Why is that? Why is there so little federal money dedicated to child welfare issues? The CB grants always seem to be limited to resource centers and programming. Can someone shed light on this issue?



Todd













Todd,



Its a long story. Basically, IMO, it starts with the fact that child maltreatment research funding is not housed primarily within any single federal research funding agency. So, you will find child maltreatment and child welfare research funded by ACYF/CB/OCAN, NIMH, NICHD, NIDA, CDC, and OJJDP among others. CDC has been particularly active in recent years in funding child abuse research, with an emphasis on prevention oriented research. ACYF/CB/OCAN has a little more of a public child welfare focus. NICHD is more focused on things like how abuse may interact with other factors to affect development. NIMH may fund treatment oriented and services research, as well as things like basic science research on brain related aspects of child trauma. NIDA has funded projects focused on the inter-relationship of maltreatment and addiction. OJJDP may be more interested in things related to crime, but also in the past has funded the evaluation of Parents Anonymous. Part of this reflects the fact that its not entirely clear what maltreatment is. Is it a social problem, a behavioral science or mental health problem, a criminal justice problem, a public health problem, or all of the above?



Within this patchwork, different agencies have different degrees to which child abuse is a formalized (i.e. structural) emphasis for them. For example, CDC has a branch (violence prevention) under which child maltreatment is a formally identified emphasis area and has staff focused on maltreatment. OCAN is aformal staffed office focused on child abuse and child welfare within the CB, and funds some research but also other types of projects (TA and demonstration projects for example). I'm not aware of any counterpart for these formal structures within any of the NIH Institutes or Centers. At NIH, its the the basic scientific category of research (intervention trials, services, psychopathology, etc.) rather than its relevance to maltreatment that determines where it fits. This patchwork of agencies does talk to each other and there is an interagency working group.



There may be some feds on the list who can correct me where I've been wrong or incomplete in this brief overview, so please fill in.



In terms of the net amount of research funding for maltreatment, a few years ago, David Chadwick and colleagues (I think) examined the ratios of research funding for various conditions, relative to the number of people affected by the condition and the condition's impact. Their conclusion was that, relative to other conditions with similar breadth and extent of impact, child maltreatment receives a fairly small amount of research funding (but then what else are child maltreatment researchers going to say!). I think this is clearly true. But the flip side of this, which is not often discussed, is that even if there was a burst of maltreatment research funding, there probably wouldn't be enough qualified researchers to do the work. Many with an interest in maltreatment research come from clinical or applied backgrounds, and its a long road to transition to being an independent researcher given that these backgrounds provide weak research preparation. Very few bright young researchers are interested in maltreatment, and some of those who are leave early because there are greener pastures. So, its not like the NIH is being flooded with high-quality scientific research applications in the child maltreatment area. To sum it up, the bottom line to answer your question, I think, is this: a) there is a little more research in maltreatment being funded than may be readily apparent--its just spread around, sometimes thinly; b) relative to prevalence and impact, it is a low-funded area; and c) there isn't a large number of researchers doing this work.



Mark





________________________________________

From: Todd McDonald [tmac5528yahoo.com]

Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 4:39 PM

Subject: grants for child welfare research



With all the money going to NIH for new grants it strikes me as odd that the childrens bureau has so little money for child welfare research. Why is that? Why is there so little federal money dedicated to child welfare issues? The CB grants always seem to be limited to resource centers and programming. Can someone shed light on this issue?



Todd