The FFCWS provides free access to its public use data, which covers a wide range of topics, including education, employment, housing, relationships, parenting, health, income, religion, and more. It also releases restricted use contract data to the research community via a Contract Data Agreement. Those restricted use contract data include residential contextual files, school contextual files, as well as biological and health files. The longitudinal information on individual, family, school, and neighborhood characteristics makes the FFCWS a rich data source to support research on a wide range of social work research topics, including criminal justice, inequality, family structure, child and adolescent development, mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, and more.
This workshop is designed for both researchers who are interested in learning about using FFCWS data for the first time and current FFCWS data users who would like a deeper dive into navigating our data. This workshop will introduce researchers to 1) a brief overview of the history and data collection of the FFCWS, including the variety of survey and activity components included in our six waves of available data; 2) a guide to the file structure, contents, and data conventions used in FFCWS including tips and advice from experts in FFCWS data support; 3) a tutorial on the contents and use of our metadata web interface; and 4) an exploration of how the FFCWS data can be used for different research topics. Our goals for this workshop are to provide a solid background for working with FFCWS data and to support participants as they begin variable exploration and selection relevant to their own research questions. We will also share the updates of our Year 22 data collection in this workshop.