Projects

Principal Investigator: Emily J. Bruce

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Issues for adolescents and young adults who are current and/or former foster youth.

Abstract: This study uses a qualitative approach to explore the impact of substance abuse and use on current and former foster youth, those who would seem to be particularly vulnerable to use and abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. This research is critical in that there is so little information in the literature regarding the issues of alcohol and/or drug use and abuse by current and former foster youth. The expectation that findings will provide some insight about how to proceed in helping former foster youth deal with this area of concern. Study begun in December 2005, data collected.

Outcomes for Former foster youth enrolled in four-year college: 1997-1998

Abstract: Former foster youth enrolled in college have had documented difficulties in successfully completing post-secondary education (Bexell, 1998; House, 2004). The primary goal of this research is to explore the differences in academic outcomes for former foster youth in comparison to other disadvantaged youth in terms of retention and graduation rates at San José State University (SJSU). The time frame for the dataset used to examine these questions is 1998/1999. The outcomes from this study will be of concrete use to San José State University as the University seeks to implement its vision as a student-centered campus focused on student success (SJSU, nd). Research study currently underway through May 2007. Funded by a San Jose State University Faculty Development Grant for Fall 2006.

Experiences of former foster youth enrolled in a four-year college: Academic Year 03-4 to the present. Principal Investigator: Emily J. Bruce

Abstract: This explores in more depth the current situation of former foster youth enrolled at San José State University (SJSU). The goal of this research is to provide a benchmark of current student success for former foster youth at SJSU. The time frame for this analysis is Academic Year (AY) 2003/2004 to the present. This study includes both a quantitative analysis based on the survey methodologies outlined by the National Survey of Student Engagement implemented by the The Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR). Research study currently underway through Fall 2007. Funded in part by a grant to the SJSU Office of Student Affairs (Walter S. Johnson Foundation).


Principal Investigator: Amy D'Andrade

Investigating the Effects of Patterns and Types of Reunification Services on Reunification Outcomes. .

Abstract: The study examines the types and patterns of reunification services ordered for clients of the child welfare system, and the effectiveness of such services in increasing the likelihood of successful reunification for parents with diverse characteristics. How utilization of those services, and services effectiveness, differ by parental characteristics is also considered. Research study to begin July, 2007. Funded by a CalSWEC Research and Curriculum Development Grant for 2007-2008.

Fast Track to Permanency: California's AB1544. Does It Reduce Time to Permanency for Very Young Children?

Abstract: In the late 1990s, California's AB 1544 reduced the reunification time frame from 12 months to 6 months for parents of children aged 3 and younger. The effects of this dramatic shift in child welfare policy affecting some of California's most vulnerable children are unknown. Using a dataset of 500 children aged 0-3 who entered care before and after the policy was implemented, the study will examine how permanency outcomes for children 0-3 who entered care after the passage of AB1544 differ from those of children who entered foster care prior to the bill, and whether outcomes after AB1544 vary for different ethnic groups. Research study currently underway through May 2007. Funded by a San Jose State University Faculty Development Grant for Spring 2007.

ASFA's Bypass Conditions Ð Implications for Parents in the Child Welfare System.

Abstract: In California, there are 15 conditions that enable agencies to deny reunification services to parents. This study is a secondary data analysis of a dataset from the National Data Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect examining the prevalence of these conditions in a sample (n=1100) of families referred to the child welfare system, and evaluates whether they are in fact predictive of future dangerousness on the part of parents. Research study currently underway through August 2007. Funded in part by a Graduate Student Fellowship from the NDACAN Summer Research Institute at Cornell University.


Principal Investigator: Laurie Drabble

Pathways to Collaboration: Understanding the role of values and system-Related factors in collaboration between child welfare and substance abuse treatment fields.

Abstract: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the role of values and other system-level factors that may help or hinder development of collaborative models for working with substance abusing families involved in the child welfare system. Survey data were collected from over 325 respondents in twelve counties in California using a Collaborative Values Inventory (CVI) and Collaborative Capacity Instrument (CCI) (instruments developed by Children and Family Futures/National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare). Respondents included managers, supervisors and line staff in child welfare and substance abuse treatment fields. Documents based on the study report findings in two primary areas. First, findings highlight key similarities and differences in values and beliefs between substance abuse and child welfare respondents in several domains (defined through factor analysis) such as attitudes about substance abusing parents and perceived barriers to collaboration. Second, findings document some of the key collaborative practices more commonly reported by counties with a strong history of collaboration compared to counties earlier in the collaborative process, particularly in the areas of assessment, screening and training. Funded by a CalSWEC Research and Curriculum Development Grant for 2003-2004. Link to curriculum

Pathways to collaboration: Factors that help and hinder collaboration between substance abuse & child welfare fields.

Abstract: This study (the second phase of a two-part study) examined factors that help and hinder the process of collaboration based on in-depth interviews with respondents (N=49) from substance abuse and child welfare fields working in five California counties with established formal collaborative policies and programs.

Funded by a CalSWEC Research and Curriculum Development Grant for 2004-2005.

Principal Investigator: Alice M. Hines

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 M. Hines, Principal Investigator
  • Peter Allen Lee, Co-Investigator
  • Kathy Lemon Osterling, Co-Investigator

Abstract: This study focuses on one large and extremely diverse California county and examines the utilization of mental health services in a sample of 250 transition-age child welfare clients. Employing multivariate methods in controlled analyses, the study will examine the impact of mental health service utilization on both placement and child functional status. Using qualitative in-depth interviews, the study will identify factors related to cross-system communication and collaboration between the mental health and child welfare systems, prior to and during early implementation of Proposition 63. Findings will be integrated into a research-based curriculum that will enhance social worker capacity to work effectively with transition age youth in the child welfare system who require mental health service. * Mental health service utilization and outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system + Alice M. Hines, Principal Investigator + Peter Allen Lee, Co-Investigator + Kathy Lemon, Senior Research Associate Abstract: The primary purpose of this research was to examine the utilization of mental health services by child welfare clients, and to evaluate for the first time, the impact of mental health service utilization on outcomes for children in the child welfare system. In addition, qualitative data were used to examine contextual issues related to collaboration between the mental health and child welfare systems. The quantitative portion of the study included a total sample (N=1,127) of child welfare cases that were closed between January 1, 2004 and December 16, 2004, and a subset (N=520) of those children in the child welfare system (CWS) also referred to the mental health system (MHS) during the period specified. The qualitative portion of the study included interview and focus group data from child welfare and mental health administrators and line-workers. Quantitative analyses indicated that the majority of children receiving mental health services were receiving out-patient services. In controlled analyses completion of mental health treatment was associated with child age, diagnosis, ethnicity, and service dosage. Qualitative analyses indicated that although workers in both systems view collaboration as a valuable tool, numerous system and individual-level factors operate as barriers to collaboration. Funded by a CalSWEC Research and Curriculum Development Grant from 2005-2006.

Pathways to college for former foster youth: Understanding the psychosocial and system-related factors that contribute to college enrollment and attendance among emancipated foster youth

  • Alice M. Hines, Principal Investigator
  • Joan Merdinger, Co-Investigator
  • Kathy Lemon, Research Assistant
  • Paige Wyatt, Research Assistant

Abstract: This study investigated the psychosocial and system-related factors experienced by former foster youth who emancipated from the child welfare system and who were currently enrolled in a four-year university. A sample of former foster youth (N=216) attending four-year universities in California completed a mailed self-administered survey. Quantitative data analyses were used to identify individual psychosocial and system-related factors unique to this population. Qualitative in-depth interviews (N=27) were used to explore internal and external resources that assisted youth in their pathway to college. In addition, two comparison groups were utilized: a sample of low-income students attending a 4-year university (N=96), and a group of foster youth who emancipated from the system, but who were not attending college (N=40). Results indicated that many former foster youth attending college tended to have experiences and characteristics that indicated resilience in the face of adversity. At the same time, results suggested that although the youth are successful academically, they may be vulnerable in other areas. Funded by a CalSWEC Research and Curriculum Development Grant for 2001-2002. Link to curriculum:

An evaluation of factors related to the disproportionate representation of children of color in Santa Clara County's child welfare system.

  • Alice M. Hines, Principal Investigator
  • Peter Allen Lee, Co-Investigator
  • Laurie Drabble, Co-Investigator
  • Kathy Lemon, Senior Research Assistant
  • Julian Chow, Consultant
  • Alfred Perez, Consultant
  • Lonnie Snowden, Consultant

Abstract: This project is a multimethod/multiphase three-year study that began in June 2000 and was completed in August 2003. The overall research question guiding the study was to identify the primary factors associated with the disproportionate representation of children of color in Santa Clara County's Child Welfare System. The first phase of the research included an exploratory study that utilized focus groups and interviews with child welfare staff and clients within the child welfare system to understand how the problem is viewed from differing perspectives. The second phase included a case record review of 403 closed child welfare cases and a quantitative analysis that focused on understanding the pathways of children from various racial/ethnic groups through the child welfare system. The third phase of the study utilized focus groups, interviews and a statewide survey to explore promising practices for children and families of color involved in the child welfare system. This study was funded by Santa Clara County.