University of Wisconsin–Madison

2022 Research Funding Areas: Child Welfare and Reentry from Incarceration

The 2022 extramural research funding program supports research on how human services program and policy design, implementation, and practice create, perpetuate, and dismantle inequities in the following two programmatic areas: (1) child welfare; and (2) populations returning to their communities from incarceration.

Focal Theme 1: Child Welfare

Millions of families interact with the child welfare system. Although foster care may be the safest option for some children, being removed from their home is often traumatic for children and may interrupt children’s healthy development. Black and American Indian/Alaska Native children are disproportionately represented at all stages of the child welfare system, are more likely to be removed from their home, and often face worse outcomes in foster care than child-welfare involved white children.

The funded projects identify structural and system barriers and inform policies and programs to understand and improve outcomes for youth and families currently involved or at risk of involvement with child welfare systems.

Focal Theme 2: Reentry from Incarceration

Nearly 7 million Americans are incarcerated or on probation at any given time and more than 600,000 Americans are released from state and federal prisons annually. Successful reentry is a persistent challenge for populations with justice system involvement and more than two-thirds of community members returning from prison are rearrested within three years of their release. Incarceration may disrupt many aspects of an individual’s life including their employment, housing, education and training, family relationships, child support payments, and medical care and has high costs for families, communities, and taxpayers. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals, particularly men, are disproportionately represented in the justice system and such involvement places a disproportionate negative impact on the health and well-being of these communities and their families.

The funded project identifies structural and systemic barriers and informs policies and programs that aim to understand and improve outcomes for community members returning from incarceration and prevent repeated involvement with the justice system.

Support for the extramural research funding program is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as representing the opinions or policy of any agency of the Federal government.

Funded Proposals

Lindsey Bullinger
Lindsey Bullinger

Short and Long-Term Effects of Universal Basic Income on Child Welfare Involvement

Lindsey Bullinger, Georgia Tech School of Public Policy 
Lynne Haney
Lynne Haney

Familial Debt and Reentry: The Barriers to Child Support Adjudication

Lynne Haney, New York University Department of Sociology
Darcey Merritt
Darcey Merritt

Child Welfare System (CWS) Impacted Parents: Knowledge of Their Rights and Perceptions of Family Strengths and Well-Being

Darcey Merritt, New York University, Silver School of Social Work