Child Protection


Children who live in impoverished conditions or who experience traumatic events face numerous challenges as they develop. RAND conducts research on issues that affect child welfare such as poverty, abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption, child protective services, and other government services designed to protect children and encourage family stability.

Explore Child Welfare

  • A black and white photo of a police officer in an empty building walking down a flight of stairs, photo by DonTavo/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    The Thin Blue Line in Schools: New Evidence on School-Based Policing Across the U.S.

    We find that school resource officers reduce some forms of violence, but do not prevent gun-related incidents. We also find that SROs intensify the use of suspension, expulsion, police referral, and arrest of students.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • News Release

    News Release

    1 in 5 Teachers Feel Carrying Gun to Class Would Make Schools Safer; More Than Half Think Armed Teachers Would Make ...

    U.S. teachers are divided on whether arming themselves would make schools safer, with one in five saying they would be interested in carrying a gun to school.

    May 31, 2023

  • White roses and an American flag are seen in a memorial outside Robb Elementary, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, in Uvalde, Texas, November 29, 2022, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters


    What Do Teachers Think About Carrying Guns to School?

    U.S. teachers are divided on whether arming themselves would make schools safer. One in five feels that carrying a gun would make schools safer and would do so if allowed. More than half believe teacher-carry policies would make schools less safe. And teachers' top safety concern is bullying, not guns.

    May 31, 2023

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Domestic Abuse Prevention and Outreach Approaches for the Military Community

    This study focused on identifying strategies to help prevent domestic abuse among service members and their spouses or partners before it occurs and strategies for outreach to high-risk groups that could be effective in the military environment.

    May 16, 2023

  • A man holding a woman's hands, photo by Pcess609/Getty Images composited with laurha/Adobe Stock


    Preventing Domestic Abuse in the U.S. Armed Forces

    Domestic abuse has severe consequences for service members, their families and, potentially, unit readiness. What strategies could help prevent domestic abuse before it occurs and help the military with communication to reach individuals who might have risk factors for domestic abuse?

    May 16, 2023

  • Hands of a young girl using a sewing machine in a workshop, photo by Thanaphong Araveeporn/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Labor Trafficking in the United States

    The U.S. Department of State has estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year to perform bonded or forced labor. The dimensions of this problem are growing, making it more challenging to study and address.

    May 9, 2023

  • A worker applies a skim coat of mortar to a wall (cover of RAND RR-A1681-1)


    Current and Future Research on Labor Trafficking in the United States

    Reducing the prevalence of human trafficking is a national priority. In this report, researchers recommend a research agenda for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address labor trafficking policy and enforcement.

    May 9, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Truth Decay and National Security, Gun Violence, Blockading Crimea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Truth Decay and national security, America's gun violence problem, how Ukraine could blockade Crimea, and more.

    Apr 14, 2023

  • Two teen girls doing school work with a teacher, parent or guardian, photo by stop123/Getty Images


    Supporting Students in Foster Care

    State and federal policymakers have passed legislation designed to promote collaboration between the education and child welfare systems with the goal of improving educational stability for youth in foster care and, in turn, their educational outcomes. But there are barriers to cross-system collaboration.

    Apr 4, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Violence in Schools, Neurodiversity and National Security, Drug Cartels: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on preventing school violence, dealing with drug cartels, the benefits of a neurodivergent national security workforce, and more.

    Mar 31, 2023

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: March-April 2023

    The cover story describes how K-12 schools can build trust with students to increase threat reporting and strengthen school safety. The Q&A with Ashley Woo explores how restrictions on race- and gender-related topics are affecting teachers.

    Mar 22, 2023

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Opioid Crisis Best Viewed as Connected Ecosystem; Changing Policymakers' Approach Can Aid Solutions

    The nation's opioid crisis, which kills thousands of Americans annually, is best viewed as an ecosystem where all parts of the vexing problem are interconnected, underscoring the need for holistic solutions that address the broad needs of those with substance use disorders, their families, and the communities where they live.

    Mar 16, 2023

  • Closeup of six water drops surrounding a larger drop on a green leaf, photo by ThomasVogel/Getty Images


    America's Opioid Ecosystem

    Patterns and consequences of opioid use are changing dramatically. Researchers provide a nuanced assessment of America's opioid ecosystem, highlighting how leveraging system interactions can reduce addiction, overdose, suffering, and other harms.

    Mar 16, 2023

  • Visualization


    The Ecosystem Approach to Opioid Policy

    RAND researchers created a tool to help federal, state, and local policymakers better understand issues surrounding opioids as an ecosystem—and explore innovative policy ideas.

    Mar 16, 2023

  • People embrace outside the Alamo Gym where students and parents wait to reunite following a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, May 18, 2018, photo by Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP


    Preventing Violence in Schools: How to Encourage Students to Report Threats

    One of the most consistent findings in research on school shootings is that someone knew an attack was possible but didn't report it. There are ways schools can encourage students to come forward when they see or hear something concerning: tip lines, training, and a lot more trust.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Multiracial group of teenagers sitting on school steps looking at the camera, photo by Daniel de la Hoz/Getty Images


    Ways to Help Students Report Threats to Their School

    When students or others don't know how to report a threat or aren't willing to do so, important opportunities to protect students may be missed. Schools receive little guidance about how to implement an effective reporting program or how to build a robust reporting culture. A recent research effort helps to fill this gap, highlighting seven key implications for school safety planning.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • A memorial site outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan, after a 15-year-old allegedly killed four classmates and injured seven others on November 30, 2021, photo by Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP


    How to Prevent, Prepare for, and Respond to Mass Attacks

    A new step-by-step guide can help communities prevent shootings and other mass attacks before they happen, and save lives when they do. It's written for a variety of public- and private-sector audiences—everyone from emergency responders and school officials to security personnel and community leaders.

    Aug 30, 2022

  • A teacher talks with students outside of the school building, photo by nimito/Adobe Stock


    Supporting Individual Willingness to Report School Safety Concerns

    What can states, districts, and schools do to encourage people—especially students—to report threats of school violence so that preventive action can be taken?

    Aug 25, 2022

  • Painted stones are placed at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, July 13, 2022, photo by Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Reuters


    A Toolkit for Avoiding Mass Shootings

    RAND has developed an online educational toolkit to provide practical strategies and guidance on deterring, mitigating, and responding to mass attacks. Research highlights three top ways to mitigate and/or respond to mass attacks right now: through proactive prevention, relentless follow-up, and diligent preparation and training.

    Jul 14, 2022

  • Law enforcement officers stand near the site of a shooting at a gun store in Metairie, Louisiana, February 20, 2021, photo by Catherine Koppel/Reuters


    Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit

    RAND researchers created this tool to advance efforts to prevent and reduce intentional, interpersonal firearm violence and public mass attacks in the United States.

    May 31, 2022