Who We Are

Child Trends is the nation’s leading research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable.

We work to ensure that all kids thrive by conducting independent research and partnering with practitioners and policymakers to apply that knowledge.

We believe that programs and policies that serve children are most effective when they are informed by data and evidence and grounded in deep knowledge of child and youth development.

If it affects children and youth, we study it.

Our team includes over 200 staff with expertise in areas including psychology, sociology, social work, statistics, public health, public policy, education, and communications, who work with passion and rigor on behalf of all children in America.

Community, state, and federal policymakers and practitioners rely on our cutting-edge research, independent analyses, actionable recommendations, and clear communications to improve policies and interventions that serve children and their families. Our partnerships with these stakeholders are two-way, with learning happening in both directions.

Child Trends Works in 35 States

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We believe that data and evidence are critical to freeing young people from the tyranny of poverty, discrimination, trauma, and other conditions that threaten their well-being.
- Carol Emig, President

If it affects children and youth, we study it. Our expertise spans early childhood development, child welfare, school climate, reproductive health, family formation, juvenile justice, trauma, and youth development. Race and ethnic equity, and poverty and inequality cut across all of our work. We study children at all developmental stages, from infancy to early adulthood, in the places where they live, learn, and play.

This 360-degree perspective encompasses the whole child, which includes their health and safety, cognitive and academic development, and social and emotional well-being. We bring both established methodologies and new approaches to our work; our program and implementation evaluations, tools, and other resources strengthen a broad array of child- and youth-serving programs nationwide.

We imagine a better world for children and youth.

Child Trends has a proven track record of impact. For 40 years, we have been the nation’s most respected source for research and data on children. Our work helps set the national agenda on child well-being, shapes policies that affect children and their families, and elevates important issues for vulnerable groups of children and youth.

We imagine a better world for children and youth, and we are committed to lending our expertise, experience, and ingenuity to further this vision.