Child Welfare Research Lab


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. Learn more and view recent study data.


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.

Chicago Parent Program in Foster Care

This study involves administration of an evidence-based prevention program to prevent and reduce behavior problems in children (Chicago Parent Program; CPP). The study was designed to deliver CPP content to foster and kinship caregivers who are members of a Foster Caregiver Advisory Board and they will provide feedback to guide the development of CPP adapted for foster care (CPP-FC) in collaboration with the research team.


REST @ CHECK was designed to test the effectiveness of therapeutic behavioral sleep intervention vs. therapeutic behavioral sleep intervention and sleep kit vs. care as usual on sleep / wake patterns and sleep habits amongst youth recently placed into a new placement. We aim to evaluate whether there is added benefit of supplying the sleep kits over-and-above therapeutic intervention on child sleep / wake patterns, sleep habits and caregiver engagement with the CHECK Center.

Project EASY

Project Easy is a research study to evaluate the impact and feasibility of standardized implementation of an evidence-based substance use screening and intervention method: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in the CHECK Center locations at Cincinnati Children's.

Automated Substance Use Detection System (ASUDS)

ASUDS is a research study to validate a natural language processing algorithm to detect whether question-based screening for substance use has occurred during clinical encounters and whether the screening was positive or negative, with the goal of determining how well our healthcare systems screen for substance use and where a lack of standardized screening may contribute to bias in detecting substance use during adolescence.