Drawing on my work in Catholic parishes and evangelical Christian homes and churches, as well as conversations with other scholars, I will share some lessons I learned about the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process and review how I have handled issues of consent and privacy concerns that have arisen in that process from 1996 through 2012. While no one can offer a how-to guide, I hope to demonstrate that as the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) stance on using children in research has evolved, it has provided local IRBs with tools to encourage research with children rather than simply enforcing restrictive regulations. In so doing, I hope to encourage more scholars to submit proposals for work with children, since each proposal serves to increase IRB panels’ awareness of child-centered qualitative research.

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