How can the child welfare system be reformed? Join Senior Research Associate Amanda N. Barczyk, Ph.D., M.S.W., as she talks with experts who share their perspectives.

Guests will discuss significant problems facing the child welfare system; recommendations for improving, restructuring, or completely reimagining it; and thoughts on the role research and evaluation could play in advancing reform. Listen on SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. An accessible version with captions is available on YouTube.

  1. Abolishing the Child Welfare System, Part 1. This first episode is part 1 of Dr. Barczyk’s talk with Dorothy Roberts, J.D., Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and an acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law. They discuss major problems facing the child welfare system; what child welfare abolition means; how to build a more just approach to better meet the needs of children and families; and how reform could positively impact children who are overrepresented in the system, including BIPOC children and those identifying as LGBTQ+.
  2. Abolishing the Child Welfare System, Part 2. The second episode is part 2 of Dr. Barczyk’s interview with Dorothy Roberts. They discuss the role research and data could play in advancing child welfare reform, including gaps in existing research, ways to measure the impact of reform strategies, and ways to improve the quality and relevance of research.
  3. Advocating for Child Welfare Reform. In the third episode, Dr. Barczyk talks with Michelle D. Chan, a writer, activist, mother, and founder and director of California Families Rise. In addition to sharing her personal experience with the child welfare system as a parent, Ms. Chan discusses problems in the system; how advocates like her use data and research to drive their efforts; how data and research could be more accessible to community members, including those who interact with the system; and how researchers and evaluators could support advocacy efforts.
  4. Taking Incremental Steps on the Path to Big Changes. In this fourth episode, Dr. Barczyk talks with Sarah Font, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Pennsylvania State University. They discuss major problems facing the child welfare system, methods to improve evaluation metrics, the need for streamlined funding streams, and ways to obtain the perspectives of people with lived experience.
  5. Reforming the Child Welfare System Through Policies, Laws, and System Change. In the fifth and final episode, Dr. Barczyk interviews Tleena Ives, M.A.O.L., the Director of Tribal Relations at Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families and enrolled member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. They discuss the creation, impact, and need for further reform of the Indian Child Welfare Act; services that can benefit children and families and the need for them to be culturally relevant; the importance of partnering with tribes; areas of training needed for state employees and researchers; and ways researchers can expand the field’s knowledge about the current problems facing children and families involved in the child welfare system.