A Data and Research Collaborative

At the Children’s Data Network, we believe that by thoughtfully configuring information — by making better and smarter use of existing data — we can help our children grow-up healthier, safer, stronger. But data alone will not be enough. Efforts to translate data and research require strong partners who understand and support effective policy, community development, and program implementation.


First 5 LA

First 5 LA believes in a future where every child in Los Angeles County from prenatal to age 5 grows up healthy, protected and ready to succeed in school. Recognizing the need for cross-sector data for this vision to be realized, First 5 LA Commissioners and research staff conceived and led the initial development of the Children’s Data Network. With the project now housed at the USC School of Social Work, First 5 LA continues to provide essential funding to support the CDN’s linkage and analysis of administrative records and the development of an agenda of research that advances our knowledge of the health, safety, and well-being of young children and their families.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. Instructed by Conrad N. Hilton to alleviate human suffering, the Foundation’s grantmaking programs and Humanitarian Prize work to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world. The Foundation currently has 11 strategic initiatives, including the achievement of healthy and productive lives for transition-age foster youth in New York City and Los Angeles County. Hilton Foundation funding provides essential infrastructure support for the CDN’s linkage of data and the development of new knowledge concerning transition-age youth who have spent time in foster care.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. Together with grantees and collaborators, the Foundation strives to bring about meaningful, lasting change—with the goal of building a Culture of Health that enables all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives, now and for generations to come. A grant from RWJ currently supports a new project at the CDN which involves geospatial analyses of linked administrative records to better understand how community assets may buffer children’s risks.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation addresses our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approaches. We strive to create functional solutions that target the root causes, not just the symptoms, of these problems. The solutions must be both scalable nationally and sustainable without permanent philanthropy. The CDN has been funded by the Arnold Foundation to implement a randomized evaluation of Orange County’s new child maltreatment initiative, The Neighborhood Resource Network, using linked administrative records.

California Department of Social Services

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) aims to serve, aid, and protect needy and vulnerable children and adults in ways that strengthen and preserve families, encourage personal responsibility, and foster independence. In an effort to achieve their vision that every child in California will live in a safe, stable, permanent home, nurtured by healthy families and strong communities, CDSS has partnered with the CDN to link and analyze administrative data to inform practice and policy decisions, provide the most complete picture available of the children involved with child protective services, support program design and evaluation, and ultimately, improve outcomes for children and families.

State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General

The Attorney General and Department of Justice, in partnership with state and local governments and the people of California, work to enforce and apply California laws fairly and impartially; ensure justice, safety, and liberty for all; encourage economic prosperity, equal opportunity, and tolerance; and safeguard California's human, natural and financial resources for this and future generations. The Office of the Attorney General has partnered with the CDN to link the administrative records of youth involved in the justice system. The goal is to better understand their early experiences, trajectories through systems, and factors that may increase the of risk involvement, with an eye toward preventing involvement altogether.

Children & Families Commission of Orange County

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County has identified, funded and supported programs with demonstrable positive impacts on children’s health and school readiness. Strong strategic partnerships have allowed the Commission to leverage collective resources to better meet the challenges associated with keeping children healthy and ready to learn. The CDN has been funded by the Commission to design and implement a randomized evaluation of Orange County’s new child maltreatment initiative, The Neighborhood Resource Network, using linked administrative records.

USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

The CDN is housed at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, the mission of which is to improve the well-being of vulnerable individuals and communities, advance social and economic justice, and eradicate pressing societal problems in diverse urban environments throughout Southern California, the nation and the world.

California Child Welfare Indicators Project

The CDN involves a formal data and research collaboration with the California Child Welfare Indicators Project (CCWIP). The CCWIP is a longstanding university/agency data partnership between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the University of California at Berkeley, supported through funding from CDSS, the Stuart Foundation, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.


ChoiceMaker is an Open Source Record Linkage software company that develops Machine Learning/probabilistic algorithms and technologies that identify, match and link personal records from across multiple and disparate data sources. The CDN is partnering with ChoiceMaker to develop a customized data linkage process for integrating administrative records from California.

Geospatial Sciences Institute

By deploying the power of spatial thinking and literacy, the USC Spatial Sciences Institute is advancing the ability to collect, analyze, model, and share location-based data to equip decision makers with the spatially infused information and knowledge they need to sustain our planet, promote public health, and ensure human security. The CDN partners with USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute to better understand the connection between environment and children’s outcomes.


International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN) facilitates communication between centers that specialize in data linkage and users of the linked data.

AISP aims to improve the policies and practices of education, health and human service agencies through the use of integrated data systems.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago aims to improve the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities through policy research.

The mission of PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is to achieve optimal child health and well-being by informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research.

Kidsdata.org promotes the health and well-being of children in California by providing an easy to use resource that offers high-quality, wide-ranging, local data to those who work on behalf of children.

Healthy City is an information resource that unites community voices, rigorous research and innovative technologies to address root causes of social inequity.

Kids Count provides high-quality data and trend analysis to enrich local, state and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children — and to increase the visibility of children's issues through a nonpartisan, evidence-based lens.

The Heckman Equation shares the entire body of work from Nobel Prizer Winner Professor James Heckman to serve as a resource to those promoting the value of investing in early childhood development.

The Data Resource Center takes the opinions and perspectives of parents, gathered by the National Survey of Children’s Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, and shares the results through this free online resource.

The Child Trends research center has provided valuable information and insight on the well-being of children and youth for more than 30 years to policymakers, funders, educators and service providers in the U.S. and around the world to improve policies and programs serving children and youth.

ChildStats.gov fosters coordination and collaboration to enhance and improve consistency in the collection and reporting of Federal data on children and families.

The Center on the Developing Child leverages the rapidly growing knowledge on the developing human brain to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity.

Partners for Our Children focuses on new thinking, resources and expertise for Washington state’s child welfare system. They share research findings, disseminate new works, and offer a neutral space where the child welfare community can freely exchange ideas about critical issues affecting children.

The Center for Violence and Injury Prevention promotes healthy young families and healthy young adults by advancing evidence-based violence prevention through education, research, & training activities.

The Population Dynamics Research Group uncovers demographic trends that drive major changes in society, providing insight that leads to effective policies. These population patterns underlie areas as diverse as housing, immigration, education, health, labor, transportation, the environment, and urban growth.

The Telethon Kids Institute is one of the largest medical research institutes in Australia and the first to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to major health issues: clinical research, laboratory sciences and epidemiology are all practiced under one roof in order to address complex diseases and other concerns.

IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States and is based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, whose mission is to increase government effectiveness through the use of rigorous evidence about “what works.”

Diversitydatakids.org is a state-of-the-art research project designed to meet the urgent need for information source that helps us understand: who our children are; what our children need; and how to improve opportunities for all children, especially those that may need the most help.

The Minn-LInK project uses state administrative data from multiple agencies to answer questions about the impacts of policies, programs, and practice on the well-being of children in Minnesota.

Children Now’s mission is to find common ground among influential opinion leaders, interest groups and policymakers, who together can develop and drive socially innovative, “win-win” approaches to helping all children achieve their full potential.

Every government agency collects data and usually does so as part of its existing business practices, connecting these data and building a research capacity opens whole new areas of policy analysis and reform.

— Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy