The Child Welfare Research Lab focuses on how maltreatment and interactions with healthcare and child welfare systems impact adolescent and young adult health and health risk behaviors. We explore factors that influence the health and psychosocial outcomes and how we can deliver more effective care and interventions to help young people achieve better health and psychosocial outcomes.

Our lab uses child welfare administrative data linked with electronic health records to understand the health needs of youth in the child welfare system. Our lab also conducts prospective, longitudinal studies with maltreated youth, youth in protective custody and their caregivers. Through our work, we have investigated how to support young people preparing for emancipation to better engage with the healthcare system; studied the link between maltreatment, mental health and the emergence of pain and other health conditions; and investigated the onset of health risk behaviors among older teens in custody.