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Youth Care Research at Boys Town Hits Milestone

Boys Town, Neb. – In celebration of 30 years of published Youth Care research, the Boys Town Child and Family Translational Research Center (TRC) is releasing its 2021 Applied Research Bibliography. The bibliography contains 566 citations and abstracts of Youth Care research, which includes peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters. This 30th anniversary provided Boys Town with an opportunity to reflect on the history and heritage of the Youth Care research program and where it’s headed.

The spirit of research at Boys Town dates back to its founder, Father Edward J. Flanagan. Father Flanagan referred to Boys Town as an “experimental station in youth work” as he learned from the boys in his care and then applied this knowledge to inform and educate society on ways to improve the care provided to vulnerable children. This approach was later referred to as participatory action research and is at the core of Boys Town research.

Boys Town has conducted applied research over several decades to develop and improve youth care services for children and families. In the 1970s, Boys Town was a replication site for a research-based model of residential care called the Teaching-Family Model. That program was later modified and is now the Boys Town Family Home Program that exists today. Research helped Boys Town in both program development and testing the effectiveness of innovations. The many research studies and partnerships that followed, resulted in the creation of several of the other services Boys Town currently offers such as Common-Sense Parenting®, In-Home Family Services®, Well-Managed Schools®, On the Way Home®, and the Residential Treatment Center.

Today, practice-research partnerships remain key at Boys Town for ensuring that existing programs are effective and replicable, and for ongoing innovation. Dr. Patrick Tyler, Senior Director of the TRC stated, “As we move forward, the TRC will continue to partner with children, families, educators, practitioners, and other researchers in this “experimental station” called Boys Town, to identify solutions to the complex problems that children, families, schools, and communities face.”

About Boys Town National Research Hospital

Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research, to provide the latest, most innovative care to patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is spearheading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America.

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Jordan Weinandt
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