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Research-based Curriculum Products Funded by Research & Development Committee

The Research & Development (R & D) Committee was established by the CalSWEC Board of Directors to encourage joint agency-school program development and evaluation activities to support CalSWEC's efforts to involve students and staff in improving the current child welfare system and social workers' sense of efficacy. As part of this effort, the committee, based on its research priorities, has funded empirical-based curriculum development studies of interdisciplinary and interagency delivery systems.

The projects funded below are listed with funding year(s), title, principal investigator(s) and their university affiliation, and project goal. If available, executive summary and curriulum are provided with links to them.

From 2013 to 2014 the R&D Commitee switched its focus to Research/Practice Partnerships and is not at this time funding curriculum development studies. 

NOTE: The California Child Welfare Resource Library is the repository for CalSWEC's curricula, reports, and past projects.

Completed Projects 

2010–2012
Understanding Models of Child Welfare Reunification Services Delivery in California Counties
Amy D'Andrade, Ph.D., San Jose State University
Goal: To 1) identify models of reunification services delivery currently in use in California; 2) determine whether any of these models or their elements are associated with improved reunification outcomes; and 3) provide an in-depth description and exploration of promising models.
Executive Summary

2009–2010
Family Reunification among Mexican and Vietnamese Immigrant Children in the Child Welfare System: Toward an Understanding of Promising Practices to Improve Service Availability and Effectiveness
Kathy Lemon Osterling, Ph.D., and Meekyung Han, Ph.D., San Jose State University
Goal: To examine factors related to family reunification among Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant children, including promising practices service availability and effectiveness.

Executive SummaryCurriculum

2008–2010
Community Representatives and Cultural Brokers in the Child Welfare System
Salvador Montana, Ph. D., Virginia Rondero Hernandez, Ph.D., Dolores R. Siegel, LCSW, and Margaret Jackson, LCSW, California State University, Fresno
Goal: To assess the effect on African American families as a result of Cultural Broker participation during service planning and reunification efforts, and develop a curriculum designed to enhance social worker interactions with African American families in community-based child welfare practice.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2008–2009
Worker Factors in the Overrepresentation of African Americans in the Child Welfare System
Laurie Smith, Ph. D., Janet Chang, Ph. D., and Herb Shon, Ph. D., California State University, San Bernardino
Goal: To examine the contribution of worker factors to the overrepresentation of African Americans in the child welfare system, to identify predictors of worker bias in the assessment of African American families, and to develop a research-based curriculum on cultural competency that addresses overrepresentation and is easily accessed.
Executive Summary; Curriculum

2007–2008
The Effects of Different Types and Patterns of Service on Successful Reunification
Amy D'Andrade, Ph.D.,San Jose State University
Goal: To describe the types and patterns of services delivered to parent clients of the child welfare system; determine whether services ordered or utilized differ by parental characteristics; and assess the effectiveness of services in increasing the likelihood of successful reunification.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2006–2007
Mental Health Service Utilization for Transition Age Youth in the Child Welfare System: Tracking the Early Implementation of Proposition 63 in Santa Clara County
Alice Hines, Ph. D., Peter Allen Lee, Ph. D., and Kathy Lemon Osterling, Ph. D., San Jose State University
Goal: To examine mental health service utilization by transition-age youth in the child welfare system; to assess the impact of mental health service utilization on child welfare placement and youth functional status; and to identify factors that impede or enhance collaboration between the child welfare and mental health systems prior to and during early implementation of Proposition 63.
Executive Summary

2006–2008
Evaluation of Contra Costa County's Differential Response System
Neil Gilbert , Ph. D., and Amy Price, National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center, UC Berkeley
Goal: To assess the innovative Differential Response System developed by Contra Costa County Children and Family Service to address the needs of families with children under age 4 who are referred to the Child Welfare System and are in need of services and support, but do not warrant an open child welfare case.
Executive Summary;   Curriculum  

2006–2008
An Assessment of Differential Response: Implications for Social Work Practice in Diverse Communities
Jill Duerr Berrick, Ph.D., and Amy Conley, Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Goal: To examine agency processes and client experiences associated with Differential Response in Alameda County, along with preliminary outcomes and neighborhood factors.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2005–2006
Mental Health Service Utilization and Outcomes for Children and Youth in the Child Welfare System
Alice Hines, Ph.D., Peter Allen Lee, Ph.D., and Kathy Lemon, Ph.D., San Jose State University
Goal: To examine mental health service utilization by children and youth in the child welfare system; to assess the impact of mental health service utilization on system-related and child functional outcomes; and to identify factors that impede or enhance collaboration between the child welfare and mental health systems.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2004–2005
PHASE 2: Pathways to Collaboration: Understanding the Role of Values and System-Related Factors that Contribute to the Adoption of Promising Practices between Child Welfare and Alcohol and Drug Systems
Laurie Drabble, Ph. D., San Jose State University
Goal: To examine specific factors that help or hinder evolving collaborative efforts between the fields of child welfare and the alcohol & drug system.
Executive Summary; Curriculum

2003–2005
Structured Decision Making (SDM) and Child Welfare Service Delivery Project
Devon Brooks, Ph. D., University of Southern California
Goal: To examine the implementation and impact of the Structured Decision Making (SDM) model on child welfare service delivery and outcomes in the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Executive Summary; Curriculum

2003–2005
Factors Leading to Premature Terminations of Kinship Care Placements
Janet Chang, Ph. D., Ray E. Liles, Ph. D., and Trang Hoang, Ph. D., California State University, San Bernardino
Goal: To investigate the reasons for premature termination of kinship care placements in two California counties, San Bernardino and Riverside.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2003–2004
PHASE 1: Pathways to Collaboration: Understanding the Role of Values and System-Related Factors that Contribute to the Adoption of Promising Practices Between Child Welfare and Alcohol and Drug Systems
Laurie Drabble, Ph. D., San Jose State University
Goal: To investigate the role of values and other system-level factors in facilitating or impeding the development of collaborative models for improved intervention and shared case planning with substance abusing families.
Executive Summary; Curriculum

2003–2004
Improving Educational Services for Foster Youth Living in Group Homes: An Analysis of Interagency Collaboration
Jill Duerr Berrick, Ph. D., and Robert H. Ayasse, Ph. D., Child Welfare Research Center, UC Berkeley
Goal: To examine the barriers that foster youth newly placed in group homes face while receiving timely and appropriate educational services, and to observe the way that the various systems support the educational needs of foster youth.
Executive SummaryCurriculum

2001–2003
The Retention of California's Public Child Welfare Workers
Dale Weaver, Ph. D., and Janet Chang, Ph. D., CSU, Los Angeles
Goal: To identify the relative influence of personal, job, agency, and local economic factors that contribute to increased retention of public child welfare workers. Based on these factors, to identify specific actions that can be taken by administrators, supervisors, and workers to increase retention of child welfare workers.
Executive Summary; Curriculum

2001–2003
Asian American Children and Families in Foster Care Systems: Factors Leading to Different Types of Out-of-Home Placement, Adjustments of Children to Foster Care, and Experiences of Immigrant Asian Families in the U.S. Public Child Welfare System
Siyon Rhee, Ph. D., and Janet Chang, Ph. D., CSU, Los Angeles
Goal: To identify policy, practice, and service delivery implications for the use of out-of-home care for Asian American children and to evaluate service needs, cross-cultural experience, and barriers faced by immigrant Asian parents in Los Angeles.
Curriculum

2000–2002
Evaluating the Efficacy of Family Unity Meetings
Loring Jones, Ph. D., and Donna Daley, San Diego State University
Goal: To identify policy, practice, and management implications for the use of family unity meetings.
Curriculum

2000–2002
Formal Kinship Care versus Informal Care: Characteristics and Service Needs of Grandparent-Headed Households Implications for Collaboration and Risk Prevention
Catherine Goodman, Ph. D., Eileen Mayers Pasztor, Ph. D., and Marilyn Potts, Ph. D., CSU, Long Beach
Goal: To identify risk-factors related to continued or potential DCFS involvement and to explore areas of collaboration and challenges between grandparent caregivers and DCFS social workers.
Curriculum

2000–2002
Pathways to College: Understanding the Psychosocial and System-Related Factors that Contribute to College Enrollment and Attendance Among Emancipated Foster Youth
Alice Hines, Ph. D., and Joan Merdinger, DSW, San Jose State University
Goal: To investigate the individual, system-related, and county-specific resources that enabled youth who have emancipated from the foster care system to achieve educational success by planning for and enrolling in college.
Curriculum

1999–2001
"From the Bottom Up": Impact of Public Child Welfare Training on Practice and Policy
Linda Mills, Ph. D., and Colleen Friend, Ph. D., UCLA
To examine systematically how child welfare agency-wide training impacts practice and policy.
Curriculum

1999–2001
Substance Abuse Aides in the Child Welfare System: An Evaluation of an Intervention Program
Melinda Hohman, Ph. D., San Diego State University
Goal: To provide supportive services for social workers who work in the area of voluntary services with substance abusing families.

1998–2000
Understanding Families in CalWORKS and the Child Welfare System: Case Management for Public Child Welfare Workers
Richard P. Barth, Ph. D., and Jill Duerr Berrick, Ph. D., Center for Social Services Research,  UC Berkeley
Goal: To provide information about families’ experiences of participating in CalWORKS at the same time they are involved with the child welfare system.
Curriculum

1998–2000
Substance Abuse in a Public Assistance Population: Impact for Welfare Reform and Child Welfare
Melinda M. Hohman, Ph. D., Audrey Shillington, Ph. D., and Loring Jones, Ph. D., San Diego State University
Goal: To identify possible policy and practice implications of welfare reform on the child welfare system.