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Research, Survey & Grant Review

Notice: the DCS Research, Survey and Grant Review process is currently under revision. Please check back at a later date to see the new process.

The DCS Research, Survey and Grant Review process ensures research requests, surveys and grant proposals are reviewed, approved and executed in accordance with relevant state and federal laws, regulations and with DCS policy. The governing body of this process is the Research Review Committee (RRC).

The DCS Research, Survey and Grant Review Committee is chaired by the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Continuous Quality Improvement with input from committee members including DCS legal representation, Continuous Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation staff, Human Resources staff and other senior leadership members appointed by the Commissioner. The work of the committee is governed by DCS Policy 1.33

This policy applies to research requests, surveys and grant proposals involving possible use of human subjects and confidential DCS data. The Committee convenes once a month to approve research, survey and grant requests.

Research, Survey and Grant Requests

Researchers with a university, state or federal agency that need to request data or other information, including grant proposal letters of support and memorandums of understanding, from DCS will need to submit a request to the DCS Research Review Committee. Researchers who work for DCS and need to conduct a survey of employees or other DCS stakeholders will need to submit a request and the Developing Quality Research Surveys to the DCS Research Review Committee.

Research, Survey and Grant Requests Submission Process

To submit a research request, please:

1.      complete the research request form

2.      Email the completed form and supporting documents to

If you are a DCS employee: 

Please email the request to the Research Committee.

Research Request Requirements

Researchers are required to:

  • include an attached copy of the requestor’s Curriculum Vita and University Institutional Review Board (IRB) documentation as completely filled out as possible. (pending receipt of the university IRB final approval). *Data or research information will not be released by DCS until the university IRB approval has been received.
  • identify the benefits of the research proposal, and the value of the proposed project to DCS, all system sizes, children and families, the community, and to the state.

Some questions to consider:

• Who at DCS would be interested in my research findings? 
• What program areas of DCS will my research potentially impact? 
• How would DCS be able to act upon my research findings?

Approval or Disapproval Reasons

A decision of approval or disapproval of the request will be based on the committee's discussion and consideration of at least the following factors:

  • Applicable state laws and rules, federal laws and regulations, and applicable accreditation standards;
  • The purpose for which the information is to be used and benefits to DCS;
  • Ability to provide the requested information;
  • Cost (time and staff resources) of providing the requested information, and feasibility, merit, potential outcome, and benefit of the research.

Per DCS Policy 1.33 section B.3.f: “The decision of the committee is considered discretionary and final.”

2019 Committee Meeting Dates & Deadlines

Research Request Submission Deadline Meeting Dates
October 8, 2019
October 15, 2019
November 12, 2019
Novembers 19, 2019
December 10, 2019 December 17, 2019

2020 Committee Meeting Dates & Deadlines

Research Request Submission Deadline Meeting Dates
January 14, 2020 January 21, 2020
February 11, 2020 February 18, 2020
March 10, 2020 March 17, 2020
April 14, 2020 April 21, 2020
May 12, 2020 May 19, 2020
June 9, 2020 June 16, 2020
July 14, 2020 July 21, 2020
August 11, 2020 August 18, 2020
September 8, 2020 September 15, 2020
October 13, 2020 October 20, 2020
November 10, 2020 November 17, 2020
December 8, 2020 December 15, 2020

State and Federal Reports

DCS publishes yearly reports for the Tennessee State Legislature and the Children’s Bureau.
These reports contain numerous data metrics and other information and are available for public use. 

Available Public Records 

Please see the following links to access related child welfare data and information.

• Bureau of Justice Statistics 
• Child Welfare Information Gateway 
• Child Welfare League of America 
• Kids Count Data Center
• TN Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 
• Child Welfare League of America data analysis system
• U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention 
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 
• U.S. Census Bureau