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Brandeis institute to use $2.9m grant to launch website featuring child wellbeing data

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 16, 2013 01:14 PM

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The Heller School’s Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University will use a new $2.9 million grant to launch a website it says will be “the first nationally comprehensive, interactive online database tool for finding data, policy information and analysis on the wellbeing of US children across racial and ethnic groups.”

“We hope that our data will equip users to become more informed advocates for all children and especially for vulnerable children,” said a statement from Professor Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, the project’s principal investigator.

The website, diversitydatakids.org, is scheduled to launch in January, officials said. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the grant backing the project.

The site will allow users to compare child wellbeing data across states, counties, metropolitan areas, large cities and large school districts, officials said. Some data indicators will be available at neighborhood levels for the 100 largest metro areas.
Data will include demographics, health, education, neighborhoods, family economics, and policy.

“The US child population is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, but unfortunately not all children have the same opportunities for healthy development,” Acevedo-Garcia said. “Our future hinges on our ability to ensure equitable opportunities for children, across all racial and ethnic groups, to lead healthy, productive lives.”

The institute also announced it has received a grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a four year project to evaluate changes to the Massachusetts child care subsidy program for low-income working families. The project will focus on those that face increased barriers to access, such as immigrant families, officials said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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