Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections, Companion Volume of Related Papers. Introduction


This collection of papers represents the views of several noted researchers on a number of topics related to the development of family indicators. It is a companion volume to the chartbook, Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections, and is meant to highlight some of the many areas where additional discussion of data and measurement issues could help inform the development of indicators describing the societal context of families.

The chartbook and companion volume of papers were funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project's purpose is to help expand the traditional set of indicators used to describe families, characterizing both the situation within families and how families relate to the community at large. This exploratory effort, described in greater detail in the chartbook, included (1) synthesizing research on the multiple dimensions of the social context of families; (2) identifying data sources and indicators to describe and monitor these dimensions; and (3) identifying critical gaps in knowledge and data, as well as future directions for measuring and monitoring these dimensions. The chartbook and companion volume of papers illustrate these dimensions by presenting a select number of indicators and discussing a variety of related data and measurement gaps. Selection of indicators and paper topics was done with the assistance of an expert panel and is described in more detail in the chartbook. Authors provided the following papers for this volume:

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