Research Topic

Child Welfare

Children and youth thrive when they have strong, safe, and supportive relationships and environments. However, many families struggle to provide such relationships and environments. CCFP researchers engage in longitudinal studies, partnerships with state and local social service agencies, and develop and evaluate innovative programs and services to understand and support struggling families and reduce child maltreatment.

Latest Research

Policy Brief

Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer

Behavioral economics (BE) combines economics with social psychology and cognitive decision-making to offer a broader framework for understanding factors that affect people’s decisions and actions. It provides a way to examine how decisions can be shaped not only by information and costs but by how choices are designed, as well as the context and circumstances of the moment in which decisions are made.

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Policy Brief

Reframing Law Enforcement’s Approach to Domestic Violence Calls

The Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy partnered with the Durham Crisis Response Center, the Exchange Family Center, the Center for Child and Family Health, and the Durham County Department of Social Services to create the Durham Integrated Domestic Violence Response System (DIDVRS). DIDVRS is an evidence-based, community-led approach to more appropriately address…

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News Release

Home Visiting Program Linked to Reductions in Child Abuse

Family Connects, a program in which nurses conduct home visits for newborns and their families, is linked to substantial reductions in child maltreatment investigations in children’s earliest years, according to new research from Duke University. Rachel Scheckter and James Soliah reading to baby Eleanor. Program participants had 44 percent lower rates of child maltreatment investigations…

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Katie Rosanbalm

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Kenneth Dodge

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Beth Gifford

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Elizabeth Snyder-Fickler

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Nicole Lawrence

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Early Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Cross-Agency Processes and Outcomes

Local social service agencies and health care providers routinely make decisions regarding a child’s risk for maltreatment. Yet, providers have limited information to guide their decisions and rarely receive feedback regarding the children’s long-term outcomes.

learn more about Early Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Cross-Agency Processes and Outcomes
learn more about Early Identification and Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Cross-Agency Processes and Outcomes

Identifying Opportunities to Prevent Child Maltreatment in the Health and Social Services Systems

Developing a better understanding of the types of interactions that at-risk children and their families have with professionals who could recognize risk factors and direct families to resources to help prevent child maltreatment.

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learn more about Identifying Opportunities to Prevent Child Maltreatment in the Health and Social Services Systems

Evaluation of the Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY)

Evaluation of a unified strategy to early childhood development called Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY). READY was created by a Durham-based nonprofit in partnership with early care and education, pediatrics, family support, mental health, and homeless services organizations and professionals.

learn more about Evaluation of the Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY)
learn more about Evaluation of the Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY)

Partnering for Excellence

This project is an evaluation of Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence (PFE), a model that seeks to improve the well-being of children and families in contact with the child welfare system and reduce the need for higher end behavioral services through a more trauma-informed community, which can result in reduces in behavioral healthcare expenditures.

learn more about Partnering for Excellence
learn more about Partnering for Excellence
March 22, 2022
Policy Briefs

Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer

Behavioral economics (BE) combines economics with social psychology and cognitive decision-making to offer a broader framework for understanding factors that affect people’s decisions and actions. It provides a way to examine how decisions can be shaped not only by information and costs but by how choices are designed, as well as the context and circumstances of the moment in which decisions are made.

learn more about Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer
February 4, 2022
Journal Articles

Electronic Health Record Tools to Identify Child Maltreatment: Scoping Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

We conducted a scoping literature review and key informant interviews of child maltreatment experts to (1) document the existing research evidence on the performance of EHR-based child abuse screens (EHR-CA-S) and clinical decision support systems (EHR-CA-CDSS )and (2) examine clinical perspectives regarding the use of such tools and factors that affect uptake. We find that current evidence does not support adoption of a particular CA-S or CA-CDSS and that further refinement of these tools is necessary.

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May 25, 2021
Book Chapter

Maternal Imprisonment and the Timing of Children’s Foster Care Involvement

Beth Gifford, Megan Golonka and Kelly Evans wrote a chapter of the book, Children with Incarceratead Mothers Separation, Loss, and Reunification. The chapter summarized findings of their study that examined the timing of mother’s incarceration in relation to her children’s involvement with social services, contributory factors leading to foster care placement, and foster care discharge outcomes.

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