An institutional review board (IRB) is a committee that reviews, approves, and regulates research involving human subjects conducted by its members or under its sponsorship. Some child welfare agency activities that evaluate the effectiveness of programs and practices require IRB approval. This section includes resources that describe the functions and practices of IRBs, including ways in which managers and researchers can best utilize IRBs to support their evaluation efforts.
Evaluation Brief: Understanding The Institutional Review Board (IRB) (PDF - 95 KB)
Children's Bureau and James Bell Associates (2008)
Describes the purpose, responsibilities, functions, and research review criteria of an IRB, as well as steps for determining whether a project requires IRB approval.
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs): What Are They, and Why Are They Important? (PDF - 189 KB)
Child Trends (2008)
Describes the IRB review process, with particular emphasis on out-of-school time programs. This brief gives specific steps for programs working with an IRB and provides additional resources.
Working With the Institutional Review Board
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 66(1), 2009
Discusses how researchers must work with an IRB, from preapproval to reporting and continuing review, in order to ensure compliance and ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.