Dr. Emily Putnam-Hornstein to be inducted into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare

CDN Co-Founder and Director, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, has been named an American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare Fellow. She and seven eminent colleagues in the 2024 class will be inducted this January at the annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

This award comes in recognition of Emily’s groundbreaking work to develop and examine data and algorithmic tools that can improve the accuracy and consistency of decisions made by child protection agencies. Her scholarship has provided insight into where resources may be used to better understand, and provide support for, vulnerable children and their families.

Please visit the following announcement to read more about Emily’s work and this well-deserved honor: UNC’s Putnam-Hornstein named a 2024 AASWSW fellow

Congratulations, Emily!

Seeking California Labor and Delivery Provider Input for New Research Study

Julia Reddy, research assistant at the CDN and doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill is conducting a qualitative study of California labor and delivery providers to learn about the decision to notify child protection systems (CPS) following substance exposed deliveries. She is currently recruiting hospital providers in California – nurses, social workers, midwives, physicians – who make decisions about CPS reporting after birth. Interviews will be conducted in person (in January 2024) or over zoom between November 2023 and February 2024.

Julia notes: “This dissertation research study is focused on policies and practices related to child protection system reporting (or maltreatment referrals) following births where there was identified prenatal substance use. I am interested in the clarity and utility of various policies, and the tools or resources that help or hinder providers who are making these determinations at the time of delivery.

I am interviewing labor and delivery providers, including doctors, midwives, nurses, and social workers, who are part of the decision-making team for determining whether to file a CPS referral following a substance exposed birth. I would like to speak to providers who work at hospitals in California. The interview will last about 1.5 hours and no identifying information will be retained or disclosed. I will interview you as an individual provider; your place of employment will not be recorded or connected in any way to your responses. This study has IRB approval (UNC IRB #22-3294).”

If you work at a California birth hospital and have participated in CPS reporting decisions following a substance-exposed birth, and you are interested in learning more about this research study, please visit: https://jreddy0.wixsite.com/cps-reporting-study.

CDN Executive Director Presents to Legislative Staff about Children’s Data

Owing to her knowledge about the landscape of data about children in California and experience with data integration and visualization initiatives, Dr. Regan Foust was invited to serve as a panelist at a recent California Policy Collaborative event. She and her esteemed co-panelists, Dr. Martha Dominguez, Deputy Director of the Program Innovation and Evaluation Division at First 5 California and Jacqueline Barocio, Fiscal and Policy Analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office, discussed the demographics, health, and well-being of California’s young child population with staff from various offices in the California State legislature. Dr. Foust’s remarks highlighted what we do and do not know about young children given the state of available data, and what we hope to know soon as emerging initiatives, such as the Agency-wide CalHHS Record Reconciliations, Cradle-to-Career (C2C) Data System, and Early Childhood Integrated Data System, progress.

Julia Reddy Awarded Prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Julia Reddy is a research assistant with the Children’s Data Network and a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. This past year, she was awarded the highly competitive Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. The Kirschstein F31 research award is decided after rigorous NIH peer review and is intended to provide mentored research training to doctoral students with the potential to become productive independent investigators.

Julia Reddy’s research, which will be overseen by the CDN Director Dr. Emily Putnam-Hornstein, is titled “Performance and Outcomes of Child Protection System Reporting Policies Regarding Infants Born with Prenatal Substance Exposure.” This mixed methods project aims to analyze associations among hospital substance use diagnosing, neonatal CPS reporting, and custody placements through lenses of policy analysis and intersectionality.

Reddy’s two-year funding period will commence on August 14th 2023. In addition to Dr. Putnam-Hornstein, who will serve as the Research Sponsor of the project, Julia will also receive training and mentorship from Dr. Hendree Jones, Dr. Davida Schiff, Dr. Laura Faherty, Dr. Anissa Vines, Dr. Carolyn Halpern, and CDN researcher Dr. Rebecca Rebbe.

Congratulations, Julia! We are so proud of all that you have accomplished and are thrilled for what’s to come!

Dr. Lindsey Palmer Named Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work

CDN Affiliated Researcher and former Postdoctoral Fellow at Pennsylvania State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, Lindsey Palmer has joined the faculty at the University of Utah College of Social Work. She plans to continue her research into the nature, extent, and impact of Child Protective Service (CPS) involvement for the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children, with a particular focus on child neglect. Lindsey graduated from the University of Southern California with an MSW and PhD in Social Work. She has previously worked as a licensed clinical social worker providing mental health services to adolescents involved with the child protection and juvenile justice systems. Congratulations, Lindsey!

John Prindle, Research Associate Professor!

We are proud to announce that our longtime colleague, Dr. John Prindle, has been promoted to the rank of Research Associate Professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. His research focuses on longitudinal and predictive modeling of the impacts of maltreatment on child and family services, and on child development. Prior to working with the CDN, John developed theory guided exploration methods to combine structural modeling and data-mining techniques to examine covariance structure heterogeneity. He is also interested in models of growth and change, measurement models, and studying the impact of incomplete data in biasing statistical tests. John graduated from the University of California, San Diego with BS/BA degrees in Psychology and Economics, and from the University of Southern California with a PhD in Psychology. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, John! We look forward to many more years of collaboration.

Data in Action: CDN and CCWIP Work Cited in LAO report on Racial and Ethnic Disproportionalities and Disparities in California’s Child Welfare System

On March 22nd, 2023, Update on Analysis and Key Questions: Racial and Ethnic Disproportionalities and Disparities in California’s Child Welfare System was presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services. The LAO cited CDN and CCWIP research to support the following findings: 1) foster youth are disproportionately low income, Black, and Native American; 2) disproportionalities persist throughout the system; and 3) disproportionalities have persisted over time. These conclusions prompt further research and analysis in the areas of mandated reporting, the definition of neglect, and prevention of child maltreatment. We applaud the LAO’s data-informed approach to policy and budgetary analysis and identification of key questions for continued exploration.

Dr. Eunhye Ahn Named Assistant Professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

Former CDN doctoral student and current CDN affiliated researcher, Dr. Eunhye Ahn, has joined the faculty at the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on leveraging data to improve the outcomes of children and families, while advancing broader social goals of equity and justice. She is particularly interested in informing child welfare policy and practice by utilizing data science and promoting equitable child welfare outcomes through rigorous examination of racial and socioeconomic disparities. She integrates policy knowledge in child welfare with data science approaches with an emphasis on ethics and justice. We are so proud of her and excited to continue to partner on impactful work!

CDN’s Executive Director Appointed to Cradle-to-Career (C2C) Data & Tools Advisory Board

CDN’s own Regan Foust was approved to serve a three-year term (2022-2025) on the 16-member Cradle-to-Career (C2C) Data System Data & Tools Advisory Board on May 11th, 2022. Sworn in on September 22nd, 2022, Dr. Foust now acts as one of two researchers on the Board and one of the very few members focused on the ‘Cradle’ in the Cradle-to-Career efforts. She looks forward to continuing her work to align data integration initiatives within and across the public agencies that serve and support children and families in California.

Dr. Andrea Eastman, CDN Research Assistant Professor, now also Co-Director of the Transition Age Youth Research and Evaluation Hub (TAY-Hub) at UC Berkeley

Longtime CDN collaborator, Dr. Andrea Lane Eastman, now is also Co-Director of the Transition Age Youth Research and Evaluation Hub (TAY-Hub) with Professor Mark Courtney at the University of California, Berkeley. The TAY-Hub seeks to improve policies and practices affecting TAY by monitoring outcomes and through applied research that is grounded in engagement with members of the child welfare services community, including those with the lived experience of foster care.

Andi has been a research assistant professor with the Children’s Data Network at USC since 2019. She is currently leading a portfolio of research for the Children’s Data Network funded through grants from the Reissa Foundation and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and stewarding a number of data partnerships, including with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Her scholarship has been informed by her previous work in the California State Senate where she served as a legislative aide and committee consultant on several state initiatives surrounding health and human services and public safety. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s in Psychology, received her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, and earned a PhD in Social Work from USC. While obtaining her master’s degree, she provided therapy for families who experienced child maltreatment. This role expands her sphere of influence and further cements partnerships between the CDN and CCWIP teams. Congratulations, Andi!

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