Values and Guiding Principles

At Policy Research Associates, our work impacts policies, practices, agencies, and people across the nation. We take this responsibility seriously and use our values and guiding principles to ensure that we stay true to our mission of creating positive social change for people and communities through technical assistance, research, and training. 

Value Statement

PRA transforms services and systems for individuals and communities through research, technical assistance, training, and policy evaluation. We are a mission-driven, caring organization that fosters an inclusive workplace and elevates diverse perspectives and experiences. We believe that mutual respect leads to learning and collaboration, and we use this framework to enhance our work, workplace, and our positive social impact.

Our Core Values


Our staff is committed to creating positive social change, and we are deeply passionate about our work. We foster a supportive, collegial environment full of opportunities for learning and professional development to support each employee’s growth and success.


Our many lived and learned experiences shape who we are and what we aim to achieve. We value the diverse ideas, perspectives, backgrounds, and values of our staff, partners, and the communities we serve. This contributes to our high-quality work in research, technical assistance, training, and policy evaluation.


We treat everyone inside and outside our organization with respect and fairness. The fairness and equity of our policies, practices, and procedures highlight our care and concern for each other. Our culture of mutual respect is demonstrated by our efforts to cultivate a healthy life-work integration for our staff.


Our work is grounded in sound science and is informed by the history of the systems within which we operate. With this foundation, we can have a positive impact on systems and advance the field. We pride ourselves on being good colleagues to collaborators and clients, and we exhibit integrity in all we do.

Guiding Principles

  • We are a small, mission-focused, women-owned business. Our work is primarily focused on supports and systems that serve people with behavioral health needs.
  • We rely on science, research, and critical thinking to enhance services and systems.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of our practices, principles, and procedures. We recognize the impact of conscious and unconscious bias and strive to dismantle negative impacts through our work.
  • We strive to create more equitable and just services and systems. We understand that we cannot, alone, wholly address all the challenges embedded in various services and systems, yet we purposefully act to contribute to and facilitate change.
  • We know that impact matters more than intent in a society that does not provide equal access and fair treatment for all. We consider the impact our work, policies, and practices will have on our staff and the people and communities served by our work.
  • We foster a community and culture of well-being that supports and nourishes our employees. Though we work hard, we value the critical importance of wellness and work-life balance so our staff can stay healthy and focused.
  • We are socially responsible corporate citizens and regularly participate in community service and giving.
  • We seek out learning opportunities, including uncomfortable conversations, to further mutual growth and accountability, and we translate our learnings into meaningful action. This applies internally, with our staff, and externally, with our partners and in our work.
  • We practice transparency and integrity by communicating openly with staff and sharing documented policies and procedures. We actively solicit staff input on policies and procedures and incorporate their feedback to create a better working environment for all.
  • We hold ourselves and each other accountable for success and failure. We set actionable goals, measure our progress toward those goals, and assess our impact.