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Wisconsin Subsidized Guardianship Assessment and Evaluation: Final Evaluation Report

Member: Kristen Slack
The Wisconsin Subsidized Guardianship Assessment and Evaluation (also called the Wisconsin Subsidized Guardianship Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration) tested the impact on children’s safety, placement stability, and permanency outcomes on encouraging relative caregivers to become the permanent guardians of the foster children under their care. One of the benefits of subsidized guardianship is that it offers families another option...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: child welfare
Publication Date: May 17, 2022

Assessing the Consequences of Welfare Reform for Child Welfare

Member: Kristen Slack
This piece was one of the first to empirically demonstrate the overlap in the U.S. between the public welfare assistance program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and the child welfare system. Data used are from the state of Illinois, focusing on the years leading up to the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). 
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: welfare reform
Publication Date: April 20, 2022

Child Welfare Workforce Job Satisfaction Survey Tool

Member: Kristen Slack
This survey was developed for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to better understand job satisfaction and its correlates in the public child welfare workforce. Several measures were adapted from tools created by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) (https://ncwwi.org).  Papers developed with these survey data will be added to this resource page as they are published.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child welfare
Publication Date: April 20, 2022

Exploring the Relationship between Childhood Adversities and Adult Depression: A Risk versus Strengths-Oriented Approach.

Member: Kristen Slack
Note:  If you don't have access to this article through your library system, please message me on Prof2Prof or email me at ksslack@wisc.edu to request a copy for your teaching or research purposes. Background:  Previous research suggests a dose-response relationship between ...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: ACEs
Publication Date: January 27, 2022

The Elephant in the Room: The Role of Poverty in Child Maltreatment

Member: Kristen Slack
Description of the Wisconsin Public Radio interview that aired on 12/12/2021:What role do poverty and economic hardship play in child maltreatment and neglect? And how can child welfare systems prevent them? UW Professor of Social Work Kristen Slack will share her research on programs designed to prevent child maltreatment. She'll discuss her work with coordinating services and benefits and detail improved strategies for preventing child neglect.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child maltreatment
Publication Date: January 10, 2022

Community-engaged scholarship resources

Member: Kristen Slack
In the process of writing a piece for Inside Higher Ed on community-engaged scholarship, I found some great publicly available resources and organizations/higher ed institutions that offer support for this type of scholarship. The resources on this list made the final drafts of the IHE article. I found many more that I will work to include as I revisit them.   
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: community-engaged scholarship
Publication Date: December 2, 2021

Special Issue: Economic Causes and Consequences of Child Maltreatment

Member: Kristen Slack
The special issue editors sought empirically rigorous analyses that move beyond descriptive and correlational findings. Whereas not all the articles in this special issue inform a causal understanding of the associations between economic indicators and child...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child maltreatment
Publication Date: September 29, 2021

Special Issue: Toward a Better Approach to Preventing, Identifying, and Addressing Child Maltreatment

Member: Kristen Slack
AbstractThis volume of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science aims to increase awareness among scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners of the size, scope, and functions of child welfare services in the United States. We aim to promote a wider understanding of the broad impacts of child welfare policies and point to ways in which child welfare services can be better incorporated into cross-cutting social policy debates. The...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: child maltreatment
Publication Date: September 29, 2021

Childhood Poverty, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Adult Health Outcomes

Member: Kristen Slack
AbstractThis study aimed to consider childhood poverty in relation to a count measure of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a predictor of adult health outcomes and to determine whether associations are sensitive to how childhood poverty is operationalized. A sample of 10,784 adult residents was derived using data 2014–2015 Wisconsin annual Behavioral Risk Factor Survey data, derived from the Centers for Disease...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words:
Publication Date: September 16, 2021

Evaluation of the Norman Fund Program in Illinois

Member: Kristen Slack
In the early 1990s, a consent decree was issued, stemming from a lawsuit in Illinois, to prevent children from being placed in foster care for reasons of poverty. The so-called "Norman Fund" was established to provide material assistance to families (e.g., rent payments, utility payments) to prevent child removal and to facilitate family reunification post-removal of a child from their home.  A quasi-experimental evaluation was conducted in the mid-1990s, and this...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: poverty
Publication Date: June 21, 2021

Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice

Member: Kristen Slack
The Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work has been hosting an annual Racial Injustice Conference since 2015.  This year (2021), given the pandemic, the conference was completely virtual.  As a result, we were able to record the sessions and make them available to the general public.  At this link, you will find the home page for the 2021 conference, which occurred over the span of 2 days in February. Sub-links bring you to the recorded sessions, which include a host of...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: racial justice
Publication Date: April 13, 2021

Discussion points for faculty and teaching assistants

Member: Kristen Slack
Supervising a teaching assistant (TA) involves good mentoring and advising. This resource provides a list of possible discussion points for faculty to review with students whom they are supervising TAs. It was informed by the students in our doctoral program as well as by faculty who supervise TAs.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: teaching assistants
Publication Date: January 3, 2021

Collective Mentoring of Doctoral Students

Member: Kristen Slack
In an effort to encourage mentoring of doctoral students, beyond the specific students assigned to each faculty member as an advisee, our school's doctoral program established a collective mentoring initiative. Each student is asked to write a brief synopsis of their research and teaching interest areas, career plans, and mentoring needs.  These synopses are shared with faculty involved in the doctoral program so that they can all be on the lookout...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: mentoring
Publication Date: January 3, 2021

Reforming Social Work Education

Member: Kristen Slack
When you serve in an administrative leadership role in a School of Social Work, there are many issues that come to your attention, often from students who want you to take action. Not until I served in an administrative capacity did I have a more solid sense of where pressure is needed for certain kinds of issues and asks (e.g,. some things are simply not in the control of a school or department, and are instead situated in a university sphere, an accrediting body sphere, or even a law/...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words:
Publication Date: December 8, 2020

Reflection assignment on academic publishing models and research gatekeeping

Member: Kristen Slack
I admit, I never really thought much about the business models of academic publishing when I was a graduate student, or even during the whole first half of my career as a faculty member.  However I have been thinking about it A LOT in recent years.  One thing is for certain, academics and academia are not in the driver's seat with respect to envisioning a research publishing model that ensures equitable access by both authors and readers.The first link is to a piece...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: open access
Publication Date: November 25, 2020

Timeline and Nature of Social Work Organizations' Advocacy Efforts in Spring/Summer 2020 Related to Ending Police Brutality

Member: Kristen Slack
This is a brief synopsis of recent events and advocacy efforts involving Social Work organizations and groups in response to George Floyd’s murder (a culminating event preceded by a long list of Black lives taken by police, which continues to mount), and...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: white supremacy
Publication Date: July 14, 2020

Social Policy Portfolio Assignment

Member: Kristen Slack
This assignment involves an extensive assessment of a social policy that results in a comprehensive portfolio that many students use as a rigorous example of their work when on the job market.  It is best integrated into a course as an assignment that is built over time. I typically start with an assignment on critical consumption of research (see https://www.prof2prof.com/resource/critical-consumption-research), followed by a policy logic model assignment, and then the final portfolio...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: social policy
Publication Date: January 12, 2020

Family Assessment of Strengths Tool (FAST)

Member: Kristen Slack
The FAST attempts to overcome many of the challenges with existing child maltreatment risk assessment tools (e.g., those that use only risk or deficit-oriented language, those that focus only on aspects of parenting, those that are not free or require extensive training to use). It is intended for use with families who may...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: risk assessment
Publication Date: January 12, 2020

PhD Program Climate Survey

Member: Kristen Slack
This is an anonymous climate and feedback survey for doctoral students in a School of Social Work, but it could be used or adapted for other disciplines, as well.  Students from my school's doctoral program helped develop the questions. This tool does not ask about any  information that could identify a student, such as demographic info or matriculation year, in part because our program is so small that this would end up identifying certain students.  In the intro...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: doctoral program
Publication Date: February 23, 2019

Discussion Points for Research Assistants and Faculty Supervisors

Member: Kristen Slack
Starting a research or project assistantship can be confusing for students, since such positions are often quite varied from faculty supervisor to faculty supervisor.  This list of discussion topics can serve as a guide for students and faculty alike to ensure that various aspects of a research/project assistantship position are clarified from the onset.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: mentoring
Publication Date: August 25, 2018

Resources for finding fellowship and postdoc opportunities

Member: Kristen Slack
Searching for fellowships can be a hit and miss process, and often students (and faculty) become aware of fellowship opportunities through word of mouth or through a general search of the internet, where you may or may not find relevant hits and undoubtedly miss things.  I've always thought--there needs to be a centralized place where people can search for fellowship opportunities.  I came across the site ProFellow.com.  It has many of the fellowships that I am...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: fellowships
Publication Date: August 17, 2018

Child Welfare Worker Training Topics Survey

Member: Kristen Slack
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Survey Center (UWSC) was hired by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct a series of brief surveys of the child welfare workforce. The purpose of these surveys is to identify strengths and challenges faced by the child welfare workforce in Wisconsin. Input from these surveys will help DCF,  counties, and tribes partner in their efforts to continually improve upon policy, process and practice standards, as well as...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: child welfare training
Publication Date: August 13, 2018

Child Welfare Worker "Intent to Leave" Survey

Member: Kristen Slack
In June 2016, DCF administered a flash survey to the state’s child welfare work-force to explore the issue of worker turnover. The survey was administered electronically by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC), and sent to all workers (excluding supervisors) who have child welfare cases in eWiSACWIS.This survey was a point-in-time snapshot of Wisconsin public child welfare workers’ views on their intent to leave (ITL) their jobs. Questions to gauge ITL included...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: workforce turnover
Publication Date: August 13, 2018

Career Options for Social Work PhDs: Infographic and Career Planning Template

Member: Kristen Slack
Do you mentor doctoral students or chair a doctoral prograrm? I developed these tools in preparation for taking on the role of chair of our social work school's PhD program. I will use the infographic to have an initial discussion with doctoral students about the job options out there for them.  Many "don't know what they don't know"--I certainly didn't at that stage. The career planning template can help students refine their...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: PhD Careers
Publication Date: July 15, 2018

U.S. Child Welfare Policy

Member: Kristen Slack
This chapter is part of a larger edited book on early child development and social policy (see citation).  The focus of this chapter is on U.S. child welfare policy—specifically, federal governmental policies and programs that guide formalized responses to child maltreatment. We cover the emergence of child welfare systems in the U.S., present central developmental theories that...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child welfare
Publication Date: January 29, 2018

Child protective services (CPS) involvement among low-income families

Member: Kristen Slack
This exploratory study examines combinations of income-tested welfare benefits and earnings, as they relate to the likelihood of child maltreatment investigations among low-income families with young children participating in a nutritional assistance program in one U.S. state (Wisconsin). Using a sample of 1065 parents who received the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits in late 2010 and early 2011, we find that relying on either...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child protection
Publication Date: January 16, 2018

Social Policy Acronym Game

Member: Kristen Slack
If you teach a class on U.S. social policy, particulary one that emphasizes child, youth and family policy, this is a fun game to play once students have been exposed to the basics of each policy/program included in the exercise.  Students can play the game solo or within small groups.  Each slide adds a bubble with an acronym for a social policy or program in the U.S.  The student/group must (quietly, so as not give a neighboring team an advantage) spell out the...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: social policy
Publication Date: December 10, 2017

Economic Stress Model of Child Maltreatment and Child Protection System Involvement

Member: Kristen Slack
This model provides an overview of the various explanations for a causal path from poverty or economic hardship to child maltreatment and child protection system (CPS) involvement.  There is a large research literature suggesting that poverty is a correlate of child maltreatment.  It is important to understand why such a relationship exists, in order to consider how to effectively address it.  I find that much of the existing literature either conflates child...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: child maltreatment
Publication Date: November 27, 2017

Child Welfare Policies and Services Course Syllabus and Infographic

Member: Kristen Slack
This course syllabus is intended for advanced standing (2nd year master's) students in Social Work.  It focuses on child welfare policies and services, but also related policies and services that affect children, youth, and families.  Also included is an infographic illustrating for students what they will learn in the course.  I used "Canva" to create the infographic.Note:  The syllabus contains elements of our professional Social Work ...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines: Social Work
Key words: child welfare
Publication Date: September 9, 2017

Participation and Engagement Issues in Social Welfare Interventions

Member: Kristen Slack
This presentation was developed for a collaborative of voluntary social welfare interventions that were struggling to achieve reasonable participation and engagement rates.  It was intended to generate discussion about the activities that each program had in place to encourage different levels of access.  The "Access Pyramid" is the focal point of the presentation, but several definitions and models of participation and engagement are presented, as well.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: program access
Publication Date: August 30, 2017

Critical Consumption of Research

Member: Kristen Slack
It can be very intimidating to students to read and understand research and try to discern whether it has value.  I created this assignment to provide some basic guidance on how to approach this process, given that research papers are common assignments encountered by students during college.  There is a worksheet for taking notes on a research piece, with prompts about what to focus on, the assignment itself, and a brief power point that I use during class, applied to...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: consuming research
Publication Date: August 9, 2017

Child Maltreatment Prevention: Toward an Evidence-Based Approach

Member: Kristen Slack
I used this assignment in a master's level social work class (which included a fair number of bachelor's students, as well) to help teach the skills for conducting literature reviews and critically consuming research.  Administrators from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) wanted to know what prevention strategies were typically used to address child maltreatment, and what the state of the evidence base was on each.  Students were divided into...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: child maltreatment
Publication Date: August 9, 2017

Welfare Sanctions, Work, and Material Hardship

Member: Kristen Slack
In the United States, we are once again debating policy proposals to restrict access to social safety net programs.  This article explores the effectiveness of sanctions as a policy lever during the welfare reforms of the mid-1990s, specifically, whether sanctions work as intended to increase compliance with welfare program rules.  The article also explores whether sanctions increase the risk of material hardships for economically disadvantaged families.  Use in...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: welfare
Publication Date: August 5, 2017

Welfare Sanctions and Child Protective Services (CPS) Involvement

Member: Kristen Slack
This research focuses on the role of "sanctions" as a policy lever in welfare programs during the 1990s, specifically Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  Sanction threats, imposed sanctions that result in benefit reductions, and benefit reductions for other reasons are all explored as potential risk factors for child protective services (CPS) involvement in a sample of 1,260 TANF recipient families. We were also able to control for certain types of...
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Disciplines:
Key words: welfare
Publication Date: August 5, 2017