Image of 5 young people walking, talking, smiling, down an urban street.
Project Description
The Collective to Bring Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health Research to Youth-Supporting Professionals

Child Trends, in partnership with Chapin Hall and Healthy Teen Network, will develop and disseminate research-based practice resources for professionals who work with youth through Activate: The Collective to Bring Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Research to Youth-Supporting Professionals (Activate). Activate is funded through a grant from the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

When you have research-backed approaches handy, you can focus on what matters—encouraging young people to make healthy choices about their sexual and reproductive health. That’s why Activate creates and curates easy-to-use resources to help you put essential research into practice.

Activate aims to bridge the gap between research and practice in support of OPA’s mission to prevent teen pregnancy and promote adolescent health and the development of positive assets and healthy behaviors. Activate translates research to practice by creating resources for use by professionals who work in systems with youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems (e.g., youth in foster care; youth on probation), youth experiencing homelessness, and opportunity youth (i.e., youth who are disconnected from school and work).

Activate brings together three uniquely qualified organizations with complementary substantive expertise and clear, demonstrated strengths in the design, implementation, translation, and dissemination of research:

  • Child Trends is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization whose mission is to conduct research to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. As the lead agency on this project, Child Trends brings a focus on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, youth involved in the child welfare and justice systems, and opportunity youth. For 40 years, policymakers, professionals, and other researchers have relied on Child Trends’ rigorous research and evaluation to improve policy and practice.
  • Chapin Hall is a nonprofit research and policy center affiliated with the University of Chicago that focuses on building actionable knowledge to improve the well-being of children, youth, families, and communities. Chapin Hall has made major contributions to the current state of knowledge about child welfare systems and services, the impact of interventions, and the outcomes of youth in foster care. Chapin Hall is also a nationally recognized leader in youth homelessness research.
  • Healthy Teen Network promotes better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations. Healthy Teen Network’s efforts are nationally recognized for providing high-quality training and technical assistance; integrating the use of evidence-informed practices with innovative strategies; and translating and disseminating research and data in user-friendly formats.

To guide the work, Activate maintains partnerships with a Research Alliance composed of researchers; professionals who work with or on behalf of youth; and young people, and other collaborators.

Activities

Professionals often lack easily accessible, research-based adolescent sexual and reproductive health resources in their work. To address this need, Activate will:

  • Gather, synthesize, and disseminate information about effective and promising adolescent sexual and reproductive health promotion policies and practices,
  • Equip professionals in youth-supporting systems with consistent and accurate resources, and
  • Facilitate a dialogue on adolescent sexual and reproductive health between researchers and youth-supporting professionals.

Activate will create timely, accessible, and evidence-based resources using a research-based process to translate research to practice and human-centered design to prioritize the needs and motivations of key audiences. To maximize utility, Activate will use a range of traditional and innovative strategies to disseminate resources through multiple formats and will pair resources with training and support to help professionals implement the resources effectively.

Project Contacts

Child Trends Project Directors

Mindy Scott, PhD

Jan DeCoursey, AM

Amy Dworsky, PhD

OPA Federal Program Officer

Callie Koesters, MPH, CHES

PHOTO CREDIT: Eliott Reyna on Unsplash