Career Story: Research Associate Evaluating Family Service Programs

Research Associate Evaluating Family Service Programs

Job Title: Research Associate

Type of Company: I work for a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by linking relevant research to policy and advocacy.

Education: MA in Child Development and Public Policy, Tufts University •• BA in Psychology, Grinnell College

Previous Experience: I have worked as a research/policy associate for a non-profit organization for 4 years and a researcher/project manager at a university for 4 years.

Job Tasks: My main responsibility includes evaluating programs such as preschool programs, in order to see if they have the intended impact on children and families. For example, this past summer I conducted a study on a summer preschool program that was meant to give a "boost" to children who were entering kindergarten the following fall. We gave surveys to parents to see if parents felt that their children's skills improved as a result of participating in the summer preschool. We also did assessments on the children to see if their early literacy (reading) skills got better after they were in the program.

I also provide research support for our advocacy staff (lobbyists) who are working to improve child health care coverage in the state and nationally. When our lobbyists are trying to advocate for a certain bill or section of a bill, I help find research that they can use to make their arguments when talking with policymakers.

I also assist with finding research that can be used in papers or policy briefs written by our organization. I help with proofreading and editing of reports and written documents to ensure that our message is clear, concise, and understandable for various audiences (citizens, policymakers, other researchers).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The organization I work for is incredibly flexible and understanding about having a good work-life balance. We have a 9-5 schedule, but I often work from home on projects, or come in and leave earlier or later depending on my needs. Everyone at the center is committed to the mission of our organization, and it is nice to work with people who have a similar mindset in terms of what programs and policies for children and families should look like.

Job Tips: Get involved with a summer internship - these often allow you to work on a variety of projects in many content areas (child welfare, juvenile justice, health care, education) so that you can determine which are of interest to you and which you might want to avoid.

Understand that if you enjoy this work, your salary might not be like that of your peers who are going into business, law, computer science, etc., and be sure that you are okay with that fact.

Take writing courses in college - being able to communicate effectively is a key skill in this field.

Popular Schools offering Social Services Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science: Social Work, MA Human Services: Military Resilience, MA Human Services: Christian Ministry, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master, Doctorate

SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of SocialWork, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required.

  • Programs: Master of Social Work
  • Degrees: Master

The MSW@USC is the first top-ranked MSW program offered nationally. Many online programs are limited to certain geographic areas or the availability of courses, making it necessary to travel to campus. Our program can be completed from virtually anywhere without the need to relocate to Southern California.

  • Programs: Master of Social Work
  • Degrees: Master

Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Social Work
  • Degrees: Master

There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!

  • Programs: M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, Graduate Certificate of Completion in Life Coaching, M.S. in Christian Counseling, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

100% online degrees from Ashford University

  • Programs: BA in Health and Human Services, BA in Health and Human Services - Health Care Informatics Systems Specialization, BA in Health and Human Services - Long-Term Care Specialization, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

  • Programs: Certificate in Trauma
  • Degrees: Certificate
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Human Services (MS), Counseling Psychology (EdD), Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online, Law and Public Policy Certificate, Conflict Resolution (Master of Arts) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Social And Community Service Managers, including:

Back to Top