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Press Release
Child Trends, Chapin Hall, and Healthy Teen Network Awarded Competitive Grant from Office of Population Affairs

Collective will share essential research for youth-supporting professionals

March 22, 2021

Child Trends, together with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Healthy Teen Network, has been awarded a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs to establish and operate Activate: The Collective to Bring Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Research to Youth-Supporting Professionals. Activate aims to bridge the gap between research and practice, in support of the Office of Population Affairs’ mission to and the development of positive assets and healthy behaviors.

Activate aims to bridge the gap between research and practice

Through this partnership, Activate will translate research to practice by creating resources for use by professionals who support 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). These professionals may include health providers, community-based youth practitioners, probation officers, attorneys, educators, workforce development trainers, caseworkers, program and agency administrators, program managers, policymakers, and other key stakeholders. Other audiences Activate may engage include young people, parents, and caregivers.

The partnership brings together three uniquely qualified organizations with complementary substantive expertise, as well as shared and distinct track records of conducting research, promoting evidence-based practices, disseminating findings, developing research-to-practice resources, and directing research and technical assistance centers. To guide the work, Activate will form and maintain partnerships with a larger Research Alliance that includes researchers, professionals who work with youth, as well as youth.

This is a critical opportunity to support the health and well-being of young people by making sure the adults in their lives provide research-based information about their sexual and reproductive health. We’re very excited to work with Chapin Hall and Healthy Teen Network to support professionals working with youth in a variety of contexts, and to advance the government’s mission of supporting adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

—Mindy E. Scott, PhD, Activate Principal Investigator, Child Trends

We are so pleased to join our Activate partners in supporting the reproductive health of young people by connecting research to practice. This opportunity aligns with Chapin Hall’s three core impact areas: youth homelessness, child welfare, and community capacity building. We are committed to ensuring that the best research is informed by the lived expertise of young people and that effective strategies are put to work in community.

—Anne F. Farrell, PhD, Director of Research, Chapin Hall

Healthy Teen Network is thrilled to join Child Trends and Chapin Hall to found Activate. When professionals have easy-to-use tools and resources, they are better able to integrate the research into their work. Through these best practices, professionals can equip young people with the information and services they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

—Janet Max, MPH, CHES, Interim President and CEO, Healthy Teen Network

Resources that translate research findings and scientific knowledge into guidance for professionals are often lacking or inconsistent. Using a research-based process and human-centered design to prioritize the needs and motivations of various key audiences, Activate will create resources that are timely, accessible, and evidence-based. These resources will be paired with training and support, so professionals build their capacity with skills they need to implement best practices and approaches. Activate resources will make it easier for professionals to use research in their everyday work with young people, with the end goal to support adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Activate’s first task will be to finalize a needs assessment to guide and prioritize resources to be developed. Researchers, youth-supporting professionals, and other key stakeholders are encouraged to sign up to receive Activate updates and information about new resources.

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Child Trends

Child Trends is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families.

Contact: Susan Balding or Joanna McKelvey | 240-223-9279

Chapin Hall

Chapin Hall is an independent policy research center at the University of Chicago that provides public and private decision-makers with rigorous research and achievable solutions to support them in improving the lives of children, families, and communities.

Contact: Marrianne McMullen | 773-256-5190

Healthy Teen Network

Healthy Teen Network is a national nonprofit membership organization that promotes better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations.

Contact: Gina Desiderio | 443-216-1360

PHOTO CREDIT: Alexis Brown on Unsplash