Our History

WRI was founded in 1967 under New York State's not-for-profit law.

1970s - 1980s
In the 1970s and 1980s, we concentrated our activities on research, evaluation, conference coordination, and training and technical assistance. Key projects:

  • WRI evaluated the implementation and effectiveness of the state Child Welfare Reform Act (CWRA) of 1979 for the Division of Budget and the New York State Child Abuse Prevention Act (CAPA) of 1985 for the New York State Council on Children and Families.
  • In cooperation with the New York City Board of Education Office of Education Assessment, WRI evaluated the expansion of the School Health Demonstration Program (SHDP).
  • WRI formed the Public Employment Research Institute and the Labor-Management Relations Training Institute to conduct research, provide support services to public employers, and conduct training in labor-management relations for public employees.
  • WRI coordinated a multimedia effort (radio, television, and newspaper advertising, transit posters, and educational materials) to promote sound nutrition among low-income households and increase awareness of federally funded nutrition programs.

In the 1990s WRI augmented its ability to assist clients in writing, editing, and designing informational and promotional materials. Key projects:

  • Child Protective Services Field Operations Manual and the Foster Care/Adoption Services Manual for the New York City Child Welfare Agency
  • Institutional Abuse Program Manual for the New York State Department of Social Services.

WRI also expanded its research areas of interest to include services provided to minorities, HIV/AIDS patients, and foster children. Key projects:

  • We provided training and technical assistance to minority community-based organizations over a six-year period to support them in obtaining public funds and meeting the complex reporting, fiscal, and recordkeeping requirements of government agencies.
  • We assessed the Gannett Foundation's three-year adult literacy grant program to identify and document best practices among grantees. WRI also researched and compiled two reports on workplace literacy programs for the Governor's Office of Employee Relations and the Civil Service Employees Association.
  • We compiled a comprehensive directory of funding sources for AIDS-related initiatives and then conducted technical assistance workshops to help community-based organizations use the directory.
  • We administered a project grant that funded interagency coordination and collaboration of services to emotionally disturbed children and their families in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.