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.

Heising-Simons Foundation

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos, California. The Foundation works to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people. In addition to providing core infrastructure support to facilitate record linkage and analysis, the Foundation, in partnership with First 5 Association, is supporting the development of an index that will be used to depict the conditions into which children in California are born.

First 5 California

Since 1998, First 5 California has worked to improve the lives of children and families throughout California. Our vision is that California’s children receive the best possible start in life and thrive. The mission of First 5 California is to convene, partner in, support, and help lead the movement to create and implement a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated system for California’s children prenatal through 5 and their families. Promote, support, and optimize early childhood development.

Blue Shield of California Foundation

Every day, Blue Shield of California Foundation collaborates with forward-thinking partners to advance the well-being of all Californians. The Blue Shield Foundation has partnered with the CDN to probabilistically link hospitalization records to CHHS program records in order to explore the sociodemographic and program encounters of individuals experiencing interpersonal violence.

Reissa Foundation

The Reissa Foundation, a legacy of the RGK Foundation, is committed to addressing social problems and improving the lives of vulnerable populations in California and Texas. The CDN has partnered with the Foundation to better characterize dual-system youth (i.e., youth concurrently or non-concurrently involved in the probation and child protection systems), understand their pathways into dual-involvement, and identify factors associated with recidivism and permanency.

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. In a separate collaboration, the CDN will conduct a linkage and analysis of Orange County birth, child protection and Bridges Maternal Child Health Network (Bridges) records. This study will evaluate the outcomes of infants receiving home visiting services.

First 5 Center for Children’s Policy

Grounded in the experience of First 5s, the Center studies and disseminates best practices and solutions in early childhood development; convenes experts inside and outside the early childhood space to inform policy; and evaluates solutions within and outside California that can be adapted for the state. The CDN is partnering with the Center to generate policy-relevant information about the physical health of infants and their mothers, mental health of young children, and availability of health care providers across the state of California.

Our Children Our Families Council of San Francisco

Our Children Our Families (OCOF) Council of San Francisco supports the future of San Francisco – the children, youth and their families – by aligning and supporting the systems of support they need to thrive, particularly those with the greatest need. OCOF has partnered with the Children’s Data Network to generate information related to the demographics, resources, public service trajectories, and outcomes of babies born in San Francisco County.

California Child Welfare Indicators Project

The California Child Welfare Indicators Project (CCWIP) is a longstanding university/agency data partnership between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), supported through funding from CDSS, the Stuart Foundation, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The project, housed in the School of Social Welfare, provides policymakers, child welfare workers, researchers, and the public with direct access to customizable information on California’s entire child welfare system. The CDN maintains a formal data and research collaboration with CCWIP – working closely with CCWIP researchers to provide technical support to state and county child welfare agencies.

California Department of Social Services

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is dedicated to serving, aiding and protecting children and adults in ways that strengthen and preserve families, encourage personal responsibility and foster independence. The CDN is working closely with CDSS to link and analyze administrative data with the goal of informing practice and policy decisions for children who have had contact with child protection or who are at risk for future maltreatment. Research projects aim to provide a more complete picture of the children and families involved with child protective services to support program design and evaluation with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for children and families.

California Department of Health Care Services

The aim of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is to preserve and improve the overall health and well-being of all Californians. To that end, it administers Medi-Cal, the backbone of California’s health care safety net, among other programs. Through a data use agreement with DHCS, the CDN is linking Medi-Cal records to other statewide service records in order to develop a more complete understanding of the sociodemographic, health, and service trajectories of child and youth enrollees.

California Department of Education

The California Department of Education (CDE) oversees the state’s diverse public school system, which is responsible for the education of more than 6 million children and young adults in more than 10,000 schools. In partnership with the CDE, the CDN is linking student educational records to birth and other California Health and Human Services Agency records to better characterize the landscape of risk and resilience among public school students in California.

California Department of Developmental Services

The California Department of Developmental Services (DSS) provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities through state-operated developmental centers, community facilities, and regional centers, which serve as a local resource for children and families. The CDN is working with DDS records to examine the receipt of early intervention and developmental supports, with an eye on the longer-term, cross-sector outcomes of this population.

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 CDN is working with the Office of the Attorney General to link the administrative records of youth and young adults involved in the justice system. The goal is to better understand factors that may increase the risk of justice involvement, with an eye towards early intervention and prevention.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The mission of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is to protect the public by safely and securely supervising adult and juvenile offenders, providing effective rehabilitation and treatment, and integrating offenders successfully into the community. Using CDCR records, the CDN is working to better characterize the population of incarcerated individuals and understand the effects of incarceration on children, families, and communities.

LA County CEO’s Office

The Research and Evaluation Unit of the Los Angeles CEO’s Office provides rigorous and objective research for key policymakers in Los Angeles County. The CDN, along with other collaborators at USC and UCLA, is partnering with the County to assess the economic consequences of homelessness for families using linked administrative records.

Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection

The County of Los Angeles Office of Child Protection (OCP) aims to protect children, support families, and champion their success. The CDN is partnering with the OCP in the use of administrative records to assess the coordination of services in areas such as home visitation, early care and education, and risk assessment as part of the Countywide Child Protection Strategic Plan.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

The mission of the Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is to support, create and sustain solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County. The CDN is partnering with LAHSA to better understand the characteristics and challenges of homeless and parenting young adults, using linked data to document the service needs and outcomes of their children.

Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is the region’s pediatric medical center serving San Diego, Imperial, and southern Riverside counties. Their mission is to restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental potential of children through excellence in care, education, research and advocacy. Rady Children’s has partnered with the CDN to explore the predictive value of integrating hospital data with vital birth records, statewide child protection, and vital death records to identify groups of children who may be at an elevated risk of maltreatment.

San Francisco Human Services Agency

The San Francisco Human Services Agency (SF-HSA) promotes well-being and self-sufficiency among individuals, families and communities in San Francisco. The CDN is supporting the SF HSA in the linkage and analysis of administrative records to improve program efficiency, effectiveness, and outcomes.

Auckland University of Technology

The AUT Centre for Social Data Analytics applies strong data science to linked data, undertaking research that tells us new things about the human experience. These valuable insights can measure the impact of social interventions, identify the need for new policy and predict the likely outcomes for individuals and groups in society. Like the CDN, the Centre focuses on administrative data that can be used tell stories about healthcare, children, families and education. The CDN collaborates closely with the Centre on projects in both New Zealand and the US.


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.

Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy

AISP aims to improve the policies and practices of education, health and human service agencies through the use of integrated data systems. It manages the AISP Network, a professional group of individuals within county organizations, state agencies, and universities that operate integrated data systems (IDS) across the U.S. The CDN is an emerging member site within the AISP Network.

Past Partners

While the partnerships below have formaly ended, we wish to thank the following colleagues for their instrumental work with the CDN to bring new insights and understanding to the experiences of children and their families in California.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. Their work focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity, because children need all three to succeed. Since 1948, these efforts have translated into more informed policies and practices and yielded positive results for larger numbers of kids and families. The CDN supported the foundation’s Two Generation Strategy by studying the client relationships that exist across California datasets to potentially develop disparate individual records into family units and/or households.

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 RWJF supported the CDN in the creation of geospatial analyses of linked administrative records to better understand how community assets may buffer children’s risks.

The Office of Child Abuse Prevention

The California Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) administers federal grants, contracts, and state programs designed to promote best practices and innovative approaches to child abuse prevention, intervention and treatment. OCAP, in collaboration with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, has supported the development of data that can inform thoughtful and open conversations about any future implementations of Predictive Risk Modeling (PRM) in California.

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation addresses our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches. LJAF strives to create functional solutions that target the root causes, not just the symptoms, of these problems. LJAF partnered with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the CDN to explore the use of Predictive Risk Modeling (PRM) to screen maltreatment allegations, and funded the implementation of a randomized evaluation of Orange County’s new child maltreatment initiative, The Neighborhood Resource Network, using administrative records.

Child Care Resource Center

The Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) is a member of the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles, an umbrella organization that contracts with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services to provide child care services. The CDN is working with CCRC to link the records of children enrolled in subsidized Early Care and Education (ECE) programs in Northern Los Angeles County to better understand the characteristics and outcomes of this population.
“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
1150 South Olive Street, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90015
General Questions
Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date with the Children's Data Network's latest research and news developments.

©2020 Datanetwork.org