Child Trends Reviews | Glassdoor

Child Trends Reviews

Updated October 2, 2017
69 reviews

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4.8
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Carol Emig
57 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pretty good for work-life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Mission-driven work to improve the lives of children and families through high quality research (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • It is important to establish work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

  • No real cons--you just have to like working fairly independently (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Busy & Supportive Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - High caliber employees who are committed to producing good work that supports children and youth
    - Lots of expertise in a wide range of subjects and people who are willing to mentor
    - Staff and leadership actively strive to make Child Trends a better place to work
    - Staff genuinely care about their colleagues

    Cons

    - Billable hours and managing workloads can be tricky
    - Work gets constrained by clients since we primarily operate through contracts and what can get funded

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    I'd love to talk with you about how you are getting mentoring and whether there might be lessons for other teams, too. Or please get your suggestions to staff council who are taking up mentoring... More


  2. "Would I recommend Child Trends? ABSOLUTELY!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Assistant in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Research Assistant in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, supportive leadership, warm and helpful staff, and I not only feel the work we do is important, but that I am important.

    Cons

    Have to be self-motivated (which may also be a Pro).

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    [Huge smile] I love this line: "I not only feel the work we do is important, but that I am important"! What a perfect summary!

    It's true that we are best for people who are... More

  3. "A Culture of Support, Respect and Growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Child Trends maintains a culture where each voice and contribution is respected. Junior staff are encouraged to expand their skills and explore their interests through meaningful, rather than clerical, work experiences. Senior staff are given freedom to lead in their areas of expertise. All staff are expected to work hard, but take the time to care for themselves and their families, and leadership often encourages small acts of care between staff.

    Cons

    While there are no real cons, it should be noted that growth and promotion are largely self-directed. This means that a employee that is hard-working, but passive about directing their personal development and career track, may miss out on opportunities to grow and advance within the organization.

    Advice to Management

    The main "pro" of Child Trends is its culture, which is unique among the fast-paced and hierarchical working environments of the Washington, DC metro area. This means that new entrants to the organization, especially new leaders, must be quickly acclimated to this culture in order to maintain what makes Child Trends such an amazing place to work. During times of rapid growth, it is all the more imperative that Child Trend's senior managers take active steps to safeguard and reinforce the organizations' culture of support, respect, and growth.

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    You've articulated the 20-million dollar question: How do we maintain our organizational culture during rapid growth? My short answer is by hiring people like you. But would love to talk with you... More


  4. "Mission-focused & meaningful resarch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time

    Pros

    -Working on research that has a direct impact on policy and practice
    -Great coworkers who are here for the right reasons
    -As an entry-level employee, supervisors who are invested in my professional development and care about my career goals
    -Opportunity to learn a lot, including both research skills and content knowledge
    -Able to find your niche - maybe it's quant, maybe it's communications, etc.
    -We don't work too many hours and instead are super efficient during the hours we do work

    Cons

    -As a B.A. in a research world, you often feel like you need a higher degree for credibility
    -Objectively a solid work-life balance, but can feel stressful to constantly be monitoring your time so closely.

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    You've described exactly the environment we've hoped research assistants and other entry employees experience!

    Please stay at CT! Degrees are just proxies; credibility comes from knowledge... More


  5. "Interesting work, flexible schedules"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Child Trends encourages employees to grow and develop new skills.
    Flexible work schedules (including remote work schedules or shortened work weeks) are available.
    Employees are engaged and interested in their work and are committed to the organization's mission.

    Cons

    Can be high-pressure with tight timelines.

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    High engagement, flexibility, and growth are good descriptors!

    And, yes, sometimes, high-pressure and tight timelines. If this is due to poor planning, please flag to your supervisor, me, or... More


  6. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Child Trends has a great flexible work environment especially for working parents. The open doors policy allows any employee to speak directly to any member of the management regarding work related issues.

    Cons

    We can do better by focusing more on the big picture.

    Advice to Management

    I truly appreciate how management accounts for every issue to ensure it gets resolved quickly and fairly.

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    Thank you for reporting that we resolve issues quickly and fairly; we appreciate you taking the time to point us to the issues!

    And, speaking of which, I need more about "focusing on the big... More


  7. "Rewarding work with opportunities to advance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time

    Pros

    Mission-driven work to improve the lives of children and families through high quality research
    Work includes a variety of research tasks and opportunities to interact with policymakers and stakeholders at local, state and national levels
    Motivated staff who value high quality work

    Cons

    Some employees may find the fast-paced environment to be too demanding
    Work depends on winning proposals

    Advice to Management

    Continue the good work to develop structures and procedures to accommodate our fast growth

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    You are on our growth edge, getting to interact with policymakers regularly, making sure they have research and data at hand. You are a critical part of CT today and tomorrow. We're finding new ways... More

  8. "Supportive Environment for mission-driven research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time

    Pros

    There are a number of huge pros about working at Child Trends. 1) the environment is incredibly supportive and interesting, 2) there is room to really follow your interests because folks recognize that children's well-being is multifaceted and complex, 3) there are incredible colleagues who are smart, thoughtful, and willing to step in - whether that's to review something or help yo solve a problem, 4) folks really rally behind the mission of studying the well-being of children, 5) unlike a lot of research institutes, child trends' puts institutional resources towards proposal writing and the decision to go after certain proposals is transparent, 6) there is a lot of room to have a flexible schedule, and 7) the retirement benefits are fabulous. I'm sure there are others I've forgotten about...

    Cons

    I think one of the cons is that really creating the time to learn new skills is hard. Budgets are project driven and it's hard to get bid on a project in an area where you want to get BETTER. It's hard to find ways to gain the skills needed to be able to get bid of certain proposals if you don't already have them. Additionally, in the world of "feedforward" (instead of feedback) it feels hard to get structured constructive criticism that is not just task-specific. This isn't often a problem but sometimes things build and you feel like "this could have been addressed earlier!" And, of course, in any mission-driven not for profit, people work really hard. This is a pro and a con - people care about the work they do and when there's too much of it, it can be hard to figure out what to cut back. But it's a con because sometimes it does get to be a lot.

    Advice to Management

    I think one thing that would be helpful from management is to think about how to support some of the more junior scientists or RAs/analysts overall to think about goal setting. This happens, to some extent, in supervision meetings but it can get lost in the organization when only one (very busy!) person knows what those goals were. I can imagine this happening with Natalia or with other "mentors" in a sense.

    I also am in so much admiration of the work we are doing around race and equity but sometimes wonder if the message is really trickling down fully from some supervisors.

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    You've articulated really well some of the positives and challenges at Child Trends. There are a lot of good ideas nested here, so let me address a few and come and talk for the rest!

    We've... More


  9. "Excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Child Trends full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Mission driven
    -Supportive environment and colleagues
    -Management strives for healthy work/life balance for all employees
    -Interesting and important work with applicable results
    -Most people actively try to help you grow and learn new skills
    -Very family friendly. Employees often reduce hours after having a baby without repercussion; taking time off for maternity or paternity leave is encouraged (and financially supported by the organization); all are understanding of time off to care for dependents.

    Cons

    -Although management is very transparent about salaries and how pay rates are determined, salaries can feel low compared to other similar organizations. However, we are nonprofit and have amazing benefits (far better than other comparable organizations).
    -Our work is based off of winning contracts and grants, which can result in busy periods, lulls, and some stress. Junior staff never have to worry about projects or having work, and senior staff are well supported to bring in funding, so the stress is minimal. We also have a great track record of successfully funding our work, and I've never heard of anyone being laid off because of changes in funding (so the money is not super soft).

    Child Trends Response

    Oct 10, 2017 – Senior Vice President for Research and Operations

    Oh, you raise some great points! First, we have to be very family-friendly; we follow the data! On salaries: We pay at or above the market average for each position, and often around the... More


  10. "A place for researchers who want to make a difference in the lives of children"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Child Trends part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The staff at Child Trends are very mission-driven. If you care about improving the lives of children and families, and you want to use and build your research skills to do this, Child Trends is the perfect venue for you. Child Trends is the only research center of which I am aware that specializes in a holistic understanding of child well-being (e.g., not limited to a domain such as health or to education). Strengths hat enable us to fulfill our mission include our use a variety of research approaches (quantitative and qualitative), having staff trained in a variety of fields (psychology, anthropology, public policy, public health, economics, etc.) and with complementary areas of substantive expertise. We also have a strong focus on communicating our research in digestible, useful formats to audiences who can use and apply that information (including not only other researchers, but more critically policy makers, practitioners, administrators, and the general public).
    Child Trends offers a flexible and supportive work environment as well, with many staff working part-time or in one of our regional offices or remotely.

    Cons

    As with all organizations in this field, our work is based on contracts and grants--we do not have a large endowment. However, we have been successful in fundraising, resulting in consistent growth over the past 3 decades.


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