CHSA and UNC launch child welfare research network

Mark Testa, Ph.D.

Mark Testa, Ph.D.

New effort to inform and improve policies around child well-being

Children’s Home Society of America (CHSA) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work have launched a child welfare practice-based research network to help inform and improve local, state and national policies around child welfare and well-being.

“The new research network is comprised of partnerships between universities and CHSA member agencies,” said Mark Testa, Spears-Turner Distinguished Professor at UNC and a national child welfare expert. “Through these practice-based research partnerships, we will identify evidence-informed promising practices in child welfare and evaluate their effectiveness in order to help set a new direction for building innovative and sustainable child welfare systems at the local and state levels, and ultimately, the federal level.”

“Our member agencies look forward to expanding work with local universities to help inform child welfare policy to promote evidence-based practice and child well-being,” said CHSA Board Chair Sharon Osborne. “By working with private, public and research partners, we can create lasting, meaningful change for our nation’s children.”

The research network was established as an outcome of the groundbreaking national series of institutes titled “Wicked Problems of Child Welfare,” hosted by CHSA and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. “Wicked problem” is a term coined in the policy sciences to describe a problem that defies ordinary solutions.

Since beginning in 2012, the “Wicked Problems” institutes have convened public and private child welfare leaders, national foundations and the academic community to discuss innovative strategies and best practices to inform and improve national child welfare policy.

For more information, visit http://wickedproblems.web.unc.edu.

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Testa addresses a meeting of the network members in Washington, D.C. on March 27.

Testa addresses network members at the Wicked Problems Institute meeting on March 27 in Washington, D.C.