The Child Welfare Research Lab is currently involved in the following major research projects. To learn more about any of these projects, contact us at


CAREFul is examining healthcare utilization and prevalence and onset of substance use and HIV risk behaviors for youth ages 10 years and older in foster and kinship care compared to their peers not in foster care, with particular attention to the impact of age and number of placement changes on healthcare use and health risk behaviors.


ICare2CHECK is a research study of current and former foster youth ages 16-22 who were preparing for or have already experienced independent management of their health and healthcare. The study was designed to identify gaps in healthcare services that could impact the health of these young people, and to evaluate the use of educational materials to support this transition. Learn more at


IDENTITY uses a web-based application to merge information from Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) and Cincinnati Children’s Electronic Health Record (EHR). In addition to allowing both caseworkers and clinicians access to these data, the research team is evaluating the impact IDENTITY has had on caregivers, healthcare providers, and children’s services staff. IDENTITY is being expanded to Dayton Children’s Hospital and Montgomery County Children’s Services.


Records are often lost and healthcare is disrupted when children enter foster care or change placement. HealthHero established a data hub that will share merged child welfare administrative records and electronic health records with foster youth who are 18 or older and are still in foster or kinship care.

Oral Health for Foster and Kinship Youth

Oral Health for Foster Youth is a collaboration with the Division of Pediatric Dentistry designed to examine findings from oral health risk screens and dental examinations conducted by pediatricians when foster youth are seen at the CHECK Foster Care Center. The purpose of the study is to identify oral health gaps for foster youth and evaluate whether pediatricians can assist with addressing those gaps.

COVID-19 and Foster and Kinship Care

COVID-19 has introduced unique challenges in foster and kinship care, and the Child Welfare Research Lab is partnering with the CHECK Foster Care Center and community partners to better understand these concerns.

We are currently conducting interviews with 200 caregivers who had foster or kinship children placed with them between January and October 2020. Contact us at if you are a caregiver who would like to participate.

We are also evaluating the effects of COVID-19 on healthcare delivery and testing for infection. If you have an upcoming appointment at the CHECK Center and are interested in participating in these studies, contact us at