Calvin Morrill, Professor

Open (1) Politics of Personhood: Child Welfare Agencies and the Growth of Perinatal Protective Policies

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Enter your application on the web beginning August 15th. The deadline to apply is Monday, August 27th at 9 AM.

What is the role of child protection services in cases of pregnant and postpartum women struggling with drugs, alcohol, or other issues? At the intersection of law, health policy, and welfare history, this project offers a policy-based window into the world of women who encounter child welfare agency intervention and supervision during and after pregnancy. Using historical, legal, and policy data, we will examine how the role of child welfare agencies has evolved over time in the United States and in California. This research will help shed light on the role of child welfare during the drug crisis of 1980s and the opioid crisis of today. It will also help explain the struggle over reproductive rights in context of an increasing focus on maternal, fetal, and neonatal health.

Students’ primary responsibility is data collection and data coding. This project has multiple segments, and you may learn any of the following skills: historical research, interviewing transcription, legal research and analysis, and qualitative data coding methods. You will enjoy detailed feedback to help improve your research skills, and you will learn to conduct research both on your own and as part of a larger team.

While you will do the data coding on your own time, there will be ongoing hands-on mentorship and feedback during weekly (and sometimes twice weekly) meetings with the research manager. Together, we will collaboratively discover and make sense of this complex and uncharted research territory.



Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Matty Lichtenstein, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: An interest in social policy and child welfare; attention to detail; strong communication skills; good reading, writing, and organizational skills; timeliness. Research experience is helpful but not required. You will be required to provide a minimum average of 7 work hours a week.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Some research can be completed off campus at a place of your choosing, while some research may require accessing databases on campus. In addition, attendance at campus-based meetings 1-2 times a week is mandatory.