two colleagues reviewing data on paper

Research & Evaluation

"Do we deliver quality services? Are our programs effective?
How do we better meet the needs of our changing community?”

Child and family-serving professionals grapple with these questions on a daily basis. Factors impacting the lives of youth and their caregivers are complex. In the current environment, stakeholders and funders require methods grounded in evidence-based practices and models. They want regular reports on how their investments are producing intended changes and effective services. IFF’s Research and Evaluation team specializes in collaborating with the systems and community-based organizations that provide human services to identify and implement applied research techniques that lead to stronger, more effective practices and produce measurable results on targeted outcomes.

IFF operationalizes its commitment to child welfare and human service organizations through applied research, training evaluation, and data collection projects. We support an array of service areas, including language access planning, mental health, child welfare, substance abuse prevention, maternal and child health issues, child and adolescent services, and more strategic issues related to organizational operations and community planning.

Ilona Arnold-Berkovits
Director of Research and Evaluation
Institute for Families, School of Social Work
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Our Work

Applied Research and Program Evaluation: Helping programs understand how they make a difference.
We engage in:
   •  Needs assessment
   •  Program evaluation
   •  Research design
   •  Evaluation plan development
   •  Logic model development
   •  Research questions
   •  Instrument development (surveys, focus groups, interviews)
   •  Data collection  
   •  Data analysis
   •  Literature reviews
   •  Technical assistance

Training Evaluation: Maintaining high-quality training programs.
We develop tools, standards, and practices that assess and sustain high-quality instructional services focused on producing changes in professional behaviors and skills. We provide stakeholders with comprehensive reports that summarize knowledge gains, service levels, satisfaction with content and instructors, and application of trainee learning experiences to everyday practices.  

Disseminating Data: Online data reports and visualizations (public or within organizations).
We engage with databases and data management, data processing, and data hubs/portals (interactive website).

New Jersey Child Welfare Data Hub: Disseminating information about needs and outcomes supporting the safety and well-being of youth.
This interactive hub provides statistics, utilization information, service levels, and outcome rates for children and families across all 21 counties and allows visitors to produce customized data queries. A collaboration with the NJ Department of Children and Families built upon a commitment to transparency and accountability, this information offers the public state- and county-level information about the needs of and services provided by New Jersey’s child welfare and behavioral health system. Dynamic data portals allow visitors to view and manipulate graphs illustrating service and outcome trends targeted by demographic features.