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Assistant Professor Jeffrey Waid

His Research Focuses on Preventing Child Maltreatment, Preserving Family Bonds, and Promoting Child and Family Well-being

Hee Yun Lee

Jeffrey Waid joined the School of Social Work as an Assistant Professor this fall.

He began his journey into social work as a child welfare caseworker. Working with families in their communities, he sought to prevent the recurrence of child maltreatment and placement of children into foster care.

“While foster care placement is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety of children experiencing abuse and neglect, lengthy stays in care have a detrimental impact on a child’s development.” Foster care placement is “a short term, child-focused solution to what are inherently family problems,” he says.

Nearly a decade of direct practice led Waid to a program of research focused on strengthening family relationships. His primary research interests are in the prevention of child maltreatment, preserving family bonds when foster care placement is required, and the development of novel intervention approaches to promote child and family well-being.

“I found that when children entered the foster care system, they often did better when they maintained contact with family members. Having relatives and siblings in their lives made a significant positive impact,” he says.

Waid has examined factors associated with foster care placement instability, the impacts of separation on child and family well-being, empirically informed family assessment approaches, and harnessing the potential of data to inform child welfare program and policy improvements.

His current projects examine the role of kin and sibling relationships for youth in substitute care. He is the principal investigator for a multi-state and international program that provides short term, camp-based reunification for siblings separated by foster care, and is an affiliate investigator for a National Institute of Mental Health-funded intervention study designed to enhance sibling relationships.

Waid received his Ph.D. in social work and social research from Portland State University, and his M.S.W. from the University of Pittsburgh. He was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.