Research involving the use of information about or the participation of children, youth, and families must take certain issues into consideration, such as informed consent and the confidentiality of data. The following resources discuss ethical concerns that may arise when performing research in child welfare and how to address those concerns.
Building Evaluation Capacity: Collecting and Using Data in Cross-Project Evaluations: Guide II (PDF - 540 KB)
Campbell & Clewell (2008)
Addresses issues involved in different types of data collection, including data quality, cross-project data sharing, confidentiality, and the protection of human subjects.
Ethics of Asking Trauma-Related Questions and Exposing Participants to Arousal-Inducing Stimuli
Carter-Visscher, Naugle, Bell, & Suvak
Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 8(3), 2007
Reports on the results of a study indicating that participants in trauma-related research have a positive experience overall, reporting low levels of distress when discussing childhood victimization experiences and being exposed to negatively arousing experimental conditions.
Guidelines for the Release of Public-Use Data (PDF - 197 KB)
American Institutes for Research & Child Trends (2004)
Explains how to maintain the confidentiality of subjects whose information is included in databases that are accessible by the public. It addresses legal regulations, standards for privacy, dataset use agreements, and data collection methodology and codebooks.
Methods for Disaster Mental Health Research
Norris, Galea, Friedman, & Watson (Eds.) (2006)
Emphasizes methodological issues and logistical challenges of conducting research on the effects of disasters on mental health, including the ethical issues surrounding disaster research.
So You Want to Involve Children in Research: A Toolkit Supporting Children's Meaningful and Ethical Participation in Research Relating to Violence Against Children (PDF - 622 KB)
Save the Children (2004)
Provides guidance on ethical ways to engage the participation of children in primary and secondary research related to violence against children.
The Utility of the Random Controlled Trial for Evaluating Sexual Offender Treatment: The Gold Standard or an Inappropriate Strategy?
Marshall & Marshall
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 19(2), 2007
Proposes that a random controlled trial is not suitable for determining the effectiveness of sexual offender treatment. The authors examine two alternative strategies that may allow treatment providers to examine and report the results of their programs more effectively.