Child Welfare
Research & Evaluation

Highlights

Published Articles

“This study used structural equation modeling to analyze over 600,000 investigation cases spanning a five-year period. Cases where the mother was a teenager and cases with higher risk scores demonstrated a greater likelihood to include a Family Team Meeting as part of the investigation process. Family Team Meetings had a substantial effect on child welfare investigation outcomes even after controlling for other pertinent covariate. The odds of removal from the home reduced by 51.4% for children who had a Family Team Meeting.”

The impact of Family Team Meetings on removals: Evidence from structural equation modeling. Children and Youth Services Review, 78, 89-92. *Lambert, M. C., *Johnson, L. E., & Wang, E. W. (2017) doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.05.005

“This research focused on the impact of Family Group Decision-Making on expediting youths’ exits from the foster care system through family reunification, permanent placement with relatives, or adoption using a sample of youths (N = 80,690) in foster care in the state of Texas. The results from a discrete-time survival analysis indicated that Family Group Conferences after removal increased the odds of achieving the desired outcome of placement with family (reunification with family or placement with relatives) compared to adoption. Results also indicated that, although Family Group Conferences after removal did not decrease time to permanency, neither did they significantly increase time to permanency.

Expediting permanent placement from foster care systems: The role of Family Group Decision-Making. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(4), 845-850. Wang, E. W., *Lambert, M. C., *Johnson, L. E., Boudreau, B., Breidenbach, R., &Baumann, D. (2012). doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.015

“This article presents a concept-guided approach to the assessment of risk in the life situations of children alleged to be maltreatment victims. This concept-guided risk assessment is theoretically based and is the first to use a nomological hierarchy which can yield itself to systematic testing for construct validity. Data were collected on 1199 cases referred for investigations of child maltreatment. Reliability was examined by applying Cronbach’s alpha coefficient to the 25 risk features and the 18 risk category constructs within the seven risk areas. Convergent validity coefficients for seven risk area constructs and eighteen risk category constructs were computed and structural validity was examined using an analysis technique adapted from the multitrait–multimethod technique of Campbell and Fiske (1959). Predictive validity was assessed using a multivariate measure assessing rated risk, seriousness, and concern. In general, the results support construct validity. Improvements are needed in assessments of child vulnerability and caregiver stress. The overall psychometric evidence, combined with the model’s hierarchical and theoretical nature, suggests a promising direction for future research on understanding and preventing child maltreatment.

Concept-guided risk assessment: Promoting prediction and understanding. Children and Youth Services Review, 33,1648-1657. Baumann, D. J., Grigsby, C., Sheets, J., Reid, G., Graham, J. C., Robinson, D., Holoubek, J., Farris, J., Jeffries V., & Wang, E. W. (2011). doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.04.017

Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFP)

From the DFPS Community-Based Care webpage:

The 85th Legislative Session, Senate Bill 11, now requires DFPS to purchase case management and substitute care services from a Single Source Continuum Contractor through a model known as Community-Based Care. CBC is intended to allow the SSCC and the community more flexibility to be innovative and create a child welfare system that meets the unique needs of the children, youth and families from the designated geographic service area.

 Dr. Wang and his team are conducting CBC implementation process evaluations of Texas regions using the CBC model. The following are the active SSCCs in each current region:

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