Family Policy Section Update

Anne Farrell, Ph.D., Section Chair
/ Winter 2018 NCFR Report

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By the time you read this, another annual conference will have passed. We have recruited candidates for section officers, and we are busy in another semester and (soon) a new year. Many thanks to all who led, facilitated, attended, and participated in Family Policy (FP) Section events in 2018. Our section is vibrant, and the need for research to inform policy and practice has never been clearer. The FP Section works to expand our efforts to translate and disseminate policyrelevant research to FP members who can use it to benefit individuals, families, and communities. Following an enthusiastic discussion at our 2017 FP Section meeting at the annual conference, we have made good progress!

The FP Section officers and others worked to design a template for brief, engaging summaries of policyrelevant research studies in accessible terms. We are now preparing to launch this series of briefs, which will be called Family Connections: Research to Policy Briefs. We think these 1- to 2-page briefs are ideal means for sharing information about your work with community leaders, parents, educators, students, and policymakers. Each brief will feature a short summary of a specific research study and its potential implications for policies and practices. Now, we need your work!

We are looking for authors, articles, and translational writers! If you have recently (in the past year or two) published an article (or will publish one going forward) that is relevant to family policies, please submit your work for review. The articles do not need to feature research designs that are embedded in or that emerge from policies; we are looking for a range of papers relevant to policy. Following the summary of your research article as a brief, a review committee will work with you to include or suggest other policy relevant considerations, as the case may be.

The brief feature of your article will summarize your research succinctly; highlight how methods and findings might inform public policy; reference policyrelevant outcomes (e.g., access, cost, wellbeing); explain how findings might affect prevention or intervention programs; or articulate implications for policies and practices that affect individuals, families, and communities in the United States or globally. Note that the briefs are based on single articles. They won’t make specific policy recommendations, but they will highlight ways in which research might inform policy.

The briefs can be used for instructional purposes (to support students in understanding original work); to get your findings to decision makers, colleagues, and practitioners; and as models of succinct translational writing.

To submit an article for consideration (or to volunteer as reviewer), follow these steps:

  1. Contact Erica Jordan, FP Section secretary and treasurer, to receive a submission link.
  2. Upon receiving the link, submit the basic information about the article you would like considered (author name, names of any coauthors, article title, journal title, abstract, and a few sentences explaining about how the article is policy relevant).
  3. Your submission will be reviewed by the FP Section officers (and volunteers), and you will be contacted within approximately 30 days with a decision. (Please note that the first round of these will have a longer review period.) If accepted for a brief, you will be invited to submit a summary of the article in terms easily accessible to the public. The review committee can assist you in identifying potential policy implications.
  4. Acknowledge final approval of the copy of the brief featuring your work before the collaborative completion of the brief. The brief will contain a citation of the original article, the first author’s contact information, and a permalink to the original research.
  5. Share the brief through a range of dissemination channels. The FP Section will provide authors a handy dissemination guide to help authors disseminate their work and will distribute the brief through the NCFR FP Section discussion board.

All NCFR members (including those not currently in the Family Policy Section) are invited to submit articles for briefs, and all briefs will be nonpartisan, with the precise goal of communicating research findings and potential policy impacts.