The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Making the Stakes and Stakeholders in Child Maltreatment Visible: A Discussion of Innovative Approaches to Prevention Research Design and Methodology

Thursday, January 17, 2013: 1:30 PM-3:15 PM
Nautilus 1 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Child Welfare
Grace Hubel, MA, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Bart Klika, MSW, University of Washington, Paul J. Lanier, MSW, Washington University in Saint Louis, Kathryn Maguire-Jack, MSW, MPA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jennifer Mullins Geiger, MSW, Arizona State University, Tova B. Neugut, MSW, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Kerrie Ocasio, MSW, Rutgers University
Prevention efforts are increasingly recognized as a vitally important component of the child welfare system.  Vast growth in prevention policies and programs over the last thirty years has given rise to an expansion of maltreatment prevention research, yielding an enhanced understanding of the antecedents of maltreatment, the negative effects of victimization, and evidence-supported interventions for the prevention of maltreatment and its related outcomes. This improvement in our understanding of maltreatment can be attributed to an increasing focus on sophisticated research designs and methodology, as well as the development and maintenance of essential research partnerships and networks.  While progress is evident in a declining rate of overall reports of maltreatment nationwide, we are only beginning to understand the best ways to identify families at risk, connect them with the appropriate resources, and monitor their progress. Through creative engagement with community partners and practitioners, researchers can build on recent gains in knowledge and make progress toward closing the gap between science and practice.

The purpose of this roundtable is to highlight critical issues related to innovative study designs and methodologies being utilized by maltreatment prevention researchers, as well as the benefits and challenges of building strong relationships among consumers and key stakeholders. The panel will also discuss the advantages of participating in a multidisciplinary group of emerging scholars in the field of child maltreatment prevention and how this process can promote innovative research, practice, and knowledge.  The panel will consist of seven fellows from the first cohort of the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.  Panelists employ diverse research designs in their work with the shared aim of creating new knowledge relevant to the dynamics of child maltreatment and the development of effective prevention strategies.  The panel will explore specific questions related to: a) research design (e.g. best strategies for evaluating universal vs. targeted prevention efforts, the role of theory in design and evaluation), b) research methods (e.g. qualitative research, mixed methods, variable vs. person-focused analyses), and c) research partnerships (e.g. engaging multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives, partnering with consumers, establishing relationships with local and federal stakeholders).  Panelists will also discuss the practical benefits of the fellowship’s training model that explicitly focuses on making a long-term investment in the future of the field by directly connecting doctoral students and scholars from around the country who share a passion for moving the field of maltreatment prevention forward.

The goal for this roundtable is to stimulate discussion regarding emerging techniques in the field of maltreatment prevention research and the benefits of creating peer-learning networking opportunities among emerging scholars in the field in order to advance the knowledge base and better serve children and families.  Panelists will facilitate an exchange between established researchers in the field and emerging scholars for the enrichment of all in attendance.

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