Many of us spent years in the field before working at Chapin Hall. This allows us to bridge gaps. We bridge a knowledge gap by creating research evidence about what works best and for whom. And we bridge the gap between research and practice by identifying the best available evidence to inform decisions about policies and services.
Chapin Hall’s history provided the seeds to this applied approach. Chapin Hall was founded in 1860 as the Chicago Nursery and Half-Orphan Asylum. As social policy at the federal and state levels changed, Chapin Hall’s role as a residential provider of care became less relevant.
In 1985, the organization reinvented itself as a policy
research center dedicated to improving the lives of
children and families — particularly those facing substantial
adversity and involved in public systems. Dr. Harold
Richman, the research center’s founder and first executive
director, brought a unique vision of serving children
and youth by conducting applied research that informs
policy and practice. By partnering with public agencies,
foundations, and nonprofit groups, the newly conceived
Chapin Hall pioneered strategies for analyzing agency data
and developed analytic tools and systems for monitoring.
child and youth outcomes.
Our unique history, focused mission, and close affiliation
with one of the world’s leading research institutions — the
University of Chicago — has created an unprecedented
research center dedicated to promoting the well-being
of children, youth, and families. Our work informs
action through rigorous research, developed with direct
engagement with partners.
Since 1985, Chapin Hall has grown from a staff of five
to more than 150, working in collaborative teams on
more than 120 active projects sponsored by nonprofits,
foundations, and all levels of government. A quarter of
Chapin Hall’s staff work remotely from multiple states.
and internationally. About 25% of the organization’s work.
is in Chicago and the state of Illinois; the remainder of.
our work is in other state, multistate, national, and
We have seen substantive change in our three impact
areas of child welfare, community capacity, and youth
homelessness over the last several years. The Family First
Prevention Services Act passed through Congress and
became law; the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood
Home Visiting Program was reauthorized for five years; and
our own Voices of Youth Count, the first comprehensive
national research on youth homelessness, yielded rich.
new data that can help end youth homelessness. All of
these developments represent critical opportunities for.
Chapin Hall’s role is to support our partners in the public,
nonprofit, and private sector with rigorous research and
achievable solutions to improve families’ lives. We partner
with policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropists at the
forefront of research and policy development by applying
a unique blend of scientific research, real-world experience,
and policy expertise to construct actionable information,
practical tools, and, ultimately, positive change for children
This strategic plan clarifies how we will do that work.