Research Director (Child Welfare)

Tue, 07/13/2021 - 09:09

Leads fast-paced, multidisciplinary Child Welfare Analytics Team that validates, analyzes, and reports on data from federal child welfare reviews to enhance understanding of results in context of state child welfare programs and national program performance. Reviews include the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR), the IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews (IV-E ER), and the National Youth in Transition Database Reviews (NYTD). Responsible for interacting with federal clients and project leadership about child welfare information needs, translating those information needs into project analysis plans, and guiding research staff in conducting quantitative and qualitative analyses of review data about state child welfare systems. Also responsible for guiding and shaping development of client-ready reports of analyses and findings for a variety of audiences. Facilitates collaborative work environment for team of senior professionals while establishing clear team priorities to ensure delivery of accurate, defensible reports of findings on time and within budget. Leads team in promoting JBS business development by identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, leading capture, as well as managing proposal development and collaboration across JBS Centers. Also, contributes to team qualifications by development of professional publications and presenting at professional meetings (as permitted by the funding agencies).


 Project Specific

  • Child and Family Services Reviews
    • Complete conceptual development and preliminary analysis to explore using CFSR data to enhance understanding of state system operations and performance, appropriate application of modeling techniques, providing reports as required by client.
    • Validate existing complex syntax files against operational definitions of multifaceted CFSR data indicators to ensure accuracy and completeness of syntax files and resulting analyses/reports; troubleshoot syntax and reporting queries/reporting scripts as needed to ensure validity of reports. Generate new CFSR Indicator Profiles, as needed.
  • IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews
    1. Oversee the calculation of, support for, and reporting of the annual IV-E Foster Care Error Rate, which identifies IV-E Foster Care improper payments as required by the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 (PIIA).
    2. Provide support to client during annual audits of the IV-E National Error Rate Study.
  • National Youth In Transition Database Reviews
    1. Oversee aggregate reporting and other reports as requested by client for the NYTD Reviews of state child welfare automated systems.


  • Conduct appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative analyses of data to respond to client information needs based on recognized methodological and statistical considerations (e.g., nature of the data, statistical power, etc.).
  • Prepare client-ready written materials (e.g., reports, PowerPoint presentations, charts and graphs) to communicate results clearly, concisely and precisely in a manner tailored to the intended audience and specific information need(s), incorporating graphics to highlight important findings, as needed.
  • Supervise development, management, and archiving of Access, Excel, and/or SPSS databases, as needed, for storage and analysis of data.
  • Oversee/coordinate research staff accessing, downloading, validating, and generating data and data-derived products from CFSR, the IV-E ER, and NYTD. Lead efforts to refine current processes or develop new supplementary processes, as appropriate.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government laws, regulations, and policy decisions affecting child welfare systems, as well as other concerns of ACF clients.
  • Support the communication, note-taking, writing, and editing needs of the project.¬†
  • Provide monthly written summary of project activities and accomplishments as input to monthly project status reports.
  • Set project goals and deadlines, monitor budgets and staff hours, coordinate staffing.
  • Support client communication (i.e. email, phone, in-person meetings), as needed.

 Subject Matter Expert

  • Demonstrate quantitative methods and program evaluation expertise to inform study team members, project team members, and clients.
  • Demonstrate expertise in child welfare field as related to the CFSRs, IV-ERs and NYTD; Communicate subject matter knowledge to study team members, project team members, and clients.
  • Demonstrate a breadth of child welfare expertise and evaluation expertise that enables clients and colleagues to approach and understand study from a variety of perspectives, interests and points of view.


Business Development

  • Expand new business areas by applying specialized knowledge including networking and capture planning to develop new business opportunities.
  • Lead development of proposals by working with team members on proposal tasks including technical and business proposals.
  • Recruit subject matter experts.


Education: Doctoral degree in social sciences

Language: English fluency (oral and written)

Experience: At least 9 years of experience in social science research with 3 years of experience designing and conducting research/evaluation studies in federal contracting arena. Expertise in research methodology and advanced statistical analysis. Business development experience. Experience leading proposal development including technical and business proposals. Experience publishing in evaluation and/or content area of team projects (e.g., peer-reviewed journals). Supervisory experience.

Knowledge: Understanding of federal child welfare reviews strongly desired (Child and Family Services Reviews, Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews, National Youth in Transition Database Reviews). Understanding of federal child welfare databases (i.e., AFCARS, NCANDS). Understanding of federal improper payments reporting and monitoring requirements, and associated regulations (i.e., PIIA). 

Soft Skills: Ability to communicate research and evaluation findings clearly to a variety of audiences both orally and in writing.

Software Proficiency: Proficiency in SPSS, Access, and qualitative analytic software (e.g., Atlas.ti).

Location: North Bethesda or Remote



Experience: Practice experience in child welfare.

OTHER DUTIES AS ASSIGNED: This position description should not be construed to imply that these requirements are the exclusive standards of the position nor will it be the sole basis for any subsequent employee evaluations. Incumbents will follow any other instructions and perform any other related duties as may be required by their supervisor.

This position is subject to availability of funds and to any and all restrictions contained in the contract or contracts that provide funding for this position.


 If you meet the minimum requirements for this position, please click on the "Apply" link posted below and complete the application. Please include a cover letter, resume, and at least three (3) professional references. 

Our company is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Applicants can learn more about the company's status as an equal opportunity employer by viewing the federal "EEO is the Law" poster at EEOPost.pdf. 

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.



  • Maryland Office
  • Nationwide

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