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

Journal Articles

State-Level Legal and Sociodemographic Correlates of Child Marriage Rates in the United States

Although there is a breadth of knowledge on child marriage in many low- and middle-income countries, little research and policy discussion exists surrounding child marriage within the United States. Using administrative data from several sources, this study examines how a range of different state-level variables, including political lean, academic performance, median household income, religiosity, population density, minimum age requirements and other state laws, such as parental and judicial consent, and median distance to an abortion clinic are related to variation in child marriage rates across states.

learn more about State-Level Legal and Sociodemographic Correlates of Child Marriage Rates in the United States
Journal Articles

What Do Child Abuse and Neglect Medical Evaluation Consultation Notes Tell Researchers and Clinicians?

Child abuse and neglect medical experts provide care to children when there is concern for maltreatment. Their clinical notes contain valuable information. This article includes the results of creating and implemented a coding system for data abstraction from these notes.

learn more about What Do Child Abuse and Neglect Medical Evaluation Consultation Notes Tell Researchers and Clinicians?
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
Learn More

Helen Milojevich

Research Scientist
Read More About Helen Milojevich
Learn More

Katie Rosanbalm

Read More About Katie Rosanbalm
Learn More

Kenneth Dodge

Read More About Kenneth Dodge
Learn More

Beth Gifford

Read More About Beth Gifford
Learn More

Elizabeth Snyder-Fickler

Read More About Elizabeth Snyder-Fickler
Learn More

Nicole Lawrence

Read More About Nicole Lawrence

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.

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

learn more about Electronic Health Record Tools to Identify Child Maltreatment: Scoping Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews
September 10, 2021
Journal Articles

Text-Based Crisis Service Users’ Perceptions of Seeking Child Maltreatment-Related Support From Formal Systems

Many young people were hesitant to reach out to formal systems in the future, in part because of negative experiences during past disclosure experiences. Young people may be more likely to seek support through their preferred communication medium, so providing text- and chat-based communication may be one way to encourage and facilitate disclosure.

learn more about Text-Based Crisis Service Users’ Perceptions of Seeking Child Maltreatment-Related Support From Formal Systems
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.

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