In April 1997, the NSTC report of the multi-agency Childrens Initiative titled Investing in Our Future: A National Research Initiative for Americas Children in the 21st Century was published. This report analyzed the federal investment in research focused on the biological, cognitive, and social development of Americas children, and found that only an estimated 3% of the total federal research enterprise was aimed at understanding the growth and development of 30% of our population. In making the case that this level of investment was highly inadequate, the report authors outlined three content areas in which a substantial federal research effort could be most useful iii promoting the healthy development of Americas children for the 2Ist century: health and behavior; children and environmental hazards; and learning. As the latter two areas are the focus of other interagency efforts in the federal government, an interagency working group (IWG) of the Childrens Health Behavior Research Initiative (CHBRI) was formed to critically examine the current federal R&D portfolio in this area, to explore ways to expand this knowledge base, and to better link existing knowledge to policy making.
The CHBRI IWG is working with the White House Council on Youth Violence to pilot partnerships between university-based researchers and communities supported by the federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) initiative. SS/HS is a partnership of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Education, and Justice that supports the development of community-wide approaches to violence prevention and healthy child development. Community-science partnerships would support research in this unique collaborative setting while building SS/HS granteescapacity to implement data-driven improvements of their programs.
The CHBRI IWG is also developing a short report to: (I) provide a more detailed examination of the federal research effort in the area of child health and behavior; (2) describe the activities of the CHBRI IWG in addressing this area; and (3) develop recommendations for future R&D investments in this area.
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