Jill Berrick, Professor

Closed (2) Assessing families, family needs, and family risks in child welfare

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

This study is a qualitative component of a larger study examining multi-disciplinary decision making in child welfare. In this qualitative study, we are examining anonymized child welfare case data to determine whether the quality and quantity of information collected about families is improved when cases are reviewed by multi-disciplinary teams vs. individual child welfare staff.

The undergraduate will work with the faculty member and a doctoral student on this project. The undergraduate student will assist with qualitative data analysis of 50 case files. The student will learn about Dedoose, a qualitative data analysis software program, and how to analyze and interpret qualitative data in the context of child and family service programs.

Qualifications: The student should be organized, a self-starter, interested in children's service programs, and curious.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Work can be conducted on- or off-campus. Meetings with the research team occur at least monthly throughout the semester.

Closed (3) How are fathers engaged in the child welfare system?

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

This project is a mixed methods study that seeks to examine the nature of father engagement in the child welfare system. Until recently, fathers were largely overlooked in child welfare. Although child welfare researchers have begun to explore father engagement, this research takes a broad-brush approach to fathers, painting them as a homogenous group and depicting father engagement as invariably beneficial to children. This study seeks to bring nuance to this literature in an effort to better understand the role fathers can and do play in supporting children who have been abused or neglected. Through a systematic review of child welfare case records, this study seeks to:

1. examine the nature of father engagement in an urban county

2. compare engagement of fathers to that of mothers

3. determine if and how father engagement affects how long children remain in foster care
Students working on this project will learn about the child welfare system in a local county while also developing skills in practice-based research (i.e. data extraction, coding, etc.).

Student responsibilities will include:

1. Reading through child welfare case records

2. Extracting data from case records and entering it into a Qualtrics survey

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Julia Hernandez

Qualifications: Students must be able to work independently while checking in with the research team once a week. Knowledge of the child welfare system will be helpful but is not necessary.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Work can be completed anywhere student has access to a computer.