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"Improving Children’s Safety, Well-being and Permanency through Evidence-Based Practice, Research and Evaluation”
The System Improvement & Research Section

LA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
"Improving Children’s Safety, Well-being and Permanency through Evidence-Based Practice, Research and Evaluation”
“Know where to find the information, and how to use it—that’s the secret of success.”

Albert Einstein
 


Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs for external research requests are drawn from our experiences working with external researchers. We hope they are of value to you in planning your research project.

1.  Can you assist me in planning and conducting my research?

No. The SIR Section will review your proposal and determine whether your request meets the minimum criteria for DCFS External Research Proposal Grading Rubric.

2.  I have verbal approval to conduct my research using DCFS data or other resources. Do I still need to comply with the external research request review process?

Yes.

3.  I am working in collaboration with DCFS personnel to conduct my research. Do I need DCFS approval?

Yes.

4.  I am a DCFS employee working on my thesis (or dissertation) for an advanced degree. Do I need DCFS approval for my research using DCFS data or other resources?

Yes.

5.  How would I know if Superior Court approval is required of my research request?

Please review our External Research Request Process: A Guide for Researchers .

6. I need data in aggregate form rather than by child or family. Is Superior Court approval required?

Usually not. However, we need to review your research request to determine any exceptions.

7. Once I receive DCFS approval do I have any other commitments to DCFS?

Yes. Your responsibility is to conduct your research as described in the research plan approved by DCFS, your IRB, and the Superior Court (if applicable). We want to be notified of any changes to your research plan. Multi-year projects and project extensions may require IRB re-approvals, and the updated approvals must be submitted to the SIR Section.

At the conclusion of the project, you must mail electronic and paper copies of the research report to DCFS and the Superior Court if court approval was required. Failure to do so could mean that you or your organization may not be able to conduct future research activities with DCFS. If the final report is not available within 180 days of project completion we request that an interim report be provided.

Reporting requirements are defined in the Reporting Agreement Form that you will need to review and sign as part of the DCFS approval process.

8. May I interview Children’s Social Workers or other DCFS staff for my project?

No. DCFS staff may not be contacted or interviewed for external research purposes.

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