Child/Family Welfare

Family instability is directly correlated to an increased risk of problems for children – children in stable, healthy families are more likely to have better physical, social and emotional health. Social workers engaged in child and family welfare research and practice are committed to ensuring and establishing the safety and well-being of children and their families. Among many other capacities, these professionals work in adoptions, foster care, reuniting families and assisting young adults in transitioning from foster care to independence.

Current Projects

Children and youth who experience the challenges of homelessness and child maltreatment are at greater risk for poor educational outcomes, such as high absenteeism, grade retention, dropping out, and reduced access to postsecondary education. These negative outcomes are a reflection of the failure of multiple systems—chiefly education, child welfare, and housing and social services. This study will help to address gaps in the literature by eliciting service provider perspectives on effective collaborations for homeless, highly mobile, and child-welfare involved (HHM-CW) youth.
The study aims to evaluate the impact of a pilot program at Hillside Family of Agencies called Family-Driven Planning. This program was developed to strengthen the supportive connections for youth with developmental disabilities. This mixed-methods evaluation will examine whether Family Driven Planning increases the quantity and quality of supportive adults and increases the overall life satisfaction of young adults in the program. This evaluation will also include a cost analysis of the Family Driven Planning model.   
The overarching goal of this five-year partnership is for the Buffalo Center for Social Research (BCSR) to assist Hillside Family of Agencies (HFA) in establishing and implementing a strategically-focused research program that builds on the strengths of both BCSR and HFA.
Administered through the School’s Office of Continuing Education, this grant provides support to the 19 counties of the Western Region of the New York State Office of Mental Health to assess, develop and implement:
The goal of this project is to synthesize current literature, statistics, and services across eight counties of Western NY regarding trauma experience in the community of women and children. Data will be analyzed and compiled in order to foster development of a request for proposals (rfp) to foster research and programs to address trauma for women and children in western NY. A final report will include a comprehensive list of services and programs directed at helping women and children recover from the effects of trauma in Western NY.