Child Trends Reviews | Glassdoor

Child Trends Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
46 reviews

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4.8
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Carol Emig
41 Ratings

46 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pretty good for work-life balance (in 7 reviews)

  • Everyone seems mission-driven, competent (I've never learned more from colleagues), and incredibly kind (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours, little support from supervisory (in 3 reviews)

  • Compensation rates are really low, however it is a non profit (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "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).


  2. "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.

  3. "Fabulous place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    I absolutely love working for Child Trends! I could not ask for smarter, harder working colleagues who are positive, upbeat and always willing to jump in and get the work done. The work is challenging and I am always learning more, and I am never bored. I am very lucky to have found a workplace like Child Trends where I love what I do and am excited to go to work everyday.

    Cons

    I cannot think of any downsides to working at Child Trends. You are expected to work hard, but I would not want to be at a place that did not expect that!


  4. "Child Trends is truly a Great Place to Work!"

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

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

    Pros

    Child Trends hires really smart and qualified people in both the research and administrative areas of our work. Everyone is mission driven to provide high-quality research to improve the lives and children. If I had to sum up the climate at Child Trends in one word, I would say "caring" - not only for the welfare of children and families, but also for the welfare of one another within the organization. I enjoy working in an interdisciplinary environment (researchers have backgrounds in psychology, sociology, public policy, education, law, social work, demography, business, etc.). Child Trends also has great employee benefits and many opportunities for professional growth. Head Quarters are in Bethesda, MD but there are also offices in Chapel Hill, NC and Minneapolis, MN, as well as several employees who work entirely remotely.

    Cons

    There are not many downsides to Child Trends. We have been growing a lot lately, and I think maintaining the culture of an organization can be challenging when they grow rapidly. There is a conscious effort being made to focus on "on-boarding" new staff at Child Trends, and this can help.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to pay attention to "on-boarding" of new staff and articulating processes to all staff.


  5. "A great 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 5 years)

    Pros

    - Truly mission driven
    - Smart, helpful, kind colleagues
    - Interesting and varied projects
    - Management, in particular the Vice President of Research Operations, is very transparent about the direction of the company and honest about when there are areas of challenge that are being worked on
    - Commitment to making this a great place to work and listening to
    - Still small enough that you can learn new things on a project - a new skill or exposure to issues/content that are new to you - rather than being pigeon-holed as the data entry person, or the quantitative analysis person, or the literature review person, or the person who only works on x kinds of projects.
    - Flexible scheduling and other policies make it possible to fit your life in around work (e.g., having a set time to leave each day to pick up a child from childcare). Most senior staff have children and so for the most part, understand and respect boundaries around family commitments. That said, flexible scheduling can be a double edged sword (see Cons below).
    - Contributions to your 403b are very generous (no employee contributions are even required after a year)

    Cons

    - As others have noted, the salaries can feel low. Management is transparent about doing periodic market comparisons and have raised salaries across the board based on those comparisons. So in theory we get similar salaries to our peers at other orgs, but that doesn't change how it can feel sometimes when you're working long hours like your friends at consulting companies (probably not really that bad) but getting a more non-profit-like salary. Again, as others have noted, it's ultimately a trade off I'm willing to make to do this work at a supportive organization.
    - Work life balance can be hard, but I don't actually know if this is something that is any different than at any other organization. For example, many parents get back online after their kids go to bed. I'm not sure that's unique to Child Trends. The flexible scheduling policy can make it feel like you're obligated to always be online/available, and you can pretty regularly get a response to an email after 7 or even 8 or 9pm most days. As another reviewer noted, management frequently states that it does not expect employees to work extra hours, but it doesn't really have anything in place to prevent that from happening or to address it in the short term. Sometimes you just have multiple deadlines in one week or one pay period and there's no obvious way to get it all done without working late every night.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to work to make processes and systems consistent across the organization as we grow.
    Keep up the transparent and honest communication with staff - we appreciate it, even when the answer to a request is no!
    Keep working to make work/life balance a reality, and not just pay it lip service.


  6. "Inspiring Coworkers and Supportive Environment"

    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

    There are many professional development opportunities for staff at all levels. They really invest in individual growth and help you figure out your interests. There are so many ways to improve your skills and learn from others. The work-life balance is fantastic and supported by supervisors. I like the professional atmosphere. The project work is compelling and you get to try different types of work based on your interests.

    Cons

    No real cons--you just have to like working fairly independently.


  7. "Work alongside wonderful people doing meaningful work"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    I am constantly in awe of my co-workers at Child Trends. Working here means that you get to work with individuals who are not only extremely intelligent and insightful, but also so friendly and lovely to work with on a day-to-day basis. In the Research Assistant/Senior Research Assistant positions, you have the opportunity to work on numerous projects across program areas, which allows you to build various skill sets and determine where your greatest interests lie (or don't lie).

    Cons

    The on-boarding process was a little bumpy and could be more streamlined with clearer training to make for an easier transition into the Child Trends working environment.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hold forums for lower-level staff. I would also love to see even more opportunities for everyone to get to know one another outside of working hours.

  8. "Definitely a fantastic place to work!"

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

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

    Pros

    --Work schedules and telecommute policies are very flexible.
    --Great retirement benefits.
    --Fun, caring colleagues.
    --Ability to self-nominate for promotion. You don't have to wait for a position to open to be promoted.
    --Junior staff are encouraged and provided opportunities to gain new skills and grow.
    --Interesting and meaningful work that helps improve the lives of children!

    Cons

    --Salaries seem a bit lower than at other similar organizations, but there are many other benefits you get at Child Trends you don't get at other organizations. So you just have to weigh what is most important to you.


  9. "Research Scientist"

    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

    The people! Everyone seems mission-driven, competent (I've never learned more from colleagues), and incredibly kind. Additionally, the organization is managed in an evidence-based way that truly makes my friends jealous. The leadership is inspiring and I perceive all levels of staff and their development are truly valued.

    Cons

    There are too many fun and interesting things to do and wonderful people to do them with. Feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop ALL THE TIME.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  10. "Great environment and colleagues"

    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

    Child Trends encourages growths and provides employees meaningful opportunities to strengthen skills or learn new skills. Staff within and across areas (e.g., administration, research, communications, proposals and contracts) are highly supportive of one another.

    Cons

    No real cons. Salaries could be higher, but that is somewhat the nature of a non-profit; however, the flexibility and overall compensation package are great benefits in and of themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Continue listening to staff and addressing and communicating about questions/concerns openly.


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