Currently Funded Research/Practice Partnerships


Title of Partnership: Child Welfare Partnership for Research and Training

University Partner: San Jose State University School of Social Work
Investigators/University Partners: Kathy Lemon Osterling, Laurie Drabble, Amy D’Andrade, Ed Cohen, & Meekyung Han

County Partners:
Santa Clara: Stanley Lee, Administration Program Manager;
Santa Cruz: Madeline Wordes Noya, Director of Planning and Evaluation

This project proposes a sustainable partnership between two Bay Area child welfare systems and the San Jose State University School of Social Work, with the dual purposes of:

  • creating a structure for responding to county research priorities by mobilizing teams of faculty, Title IV-E, and other interested MSW students, and agency partners in a collaborative effort to answer questions critical to improvements in the child welfare system, and
  • conducting two research studies via the developed research team structure, one in each county, focused on: 1) mental health and substance abuse services, and 2) permanency practices for older youth.

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For more information about this Partnership, please visit this website:


Title of Partnership: Transforming Child Welfare Practice through Collaborative Research and Training

University Partner: UCLA Department of Social Welfare
Investigators/University Partners: Bridget Freisthler, Todd Franke, Alfreda Iglehart & Sharon Chun Wetterau, 

County Partners:
Los Angeles County DCFS: Tedji Dessalegn & Rosa Tang

The ability to access and receive services is an essential element to reunification for most families who have children placed in out-of-home care. The current process by which referrals are made for clients, appointments are scheduled, and services are initiated can be complex and create barriers for the families served.

In a collaboration of the UCLA Department of Social Welfare and the Los Angeles County Torrance Regional Office, this project uses and evaluates web-based technology to create a more streamlined process for determining which agencies have openings available to serve clients and for matching client referrals with service providers. The evaluation of the partnership will assess the uptake of technology by the workforce, as well as outcomes such as client satisfaction and improvement in service delivery. The partnership is expected to yield valuable insights applicable to child welfare workforce training and policy.

View or download a 1-page summary of the Partnership.