skip to navigation skip to content
Search

Menu
Forms

Esther Wattenberg

Professor, Coordinator of Outreach, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, Associate, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
Post-Graduate Study, London School of Economics
M.A., University of Chicago
M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., University of Western Ohio

Social Work, Sch Of
105 PetH
1404 Gortner Ave
Tel: 612/625-6550

Areas of Interest

Child Welfare: Early Childhood--A Prevention Intervention; Deep-End Families--the intergenerational factors; Teenage Parenting; Family Policy; School-Linked Services; and Children in Immigrant Families.

Esther Wattenberg is a Professor in the School of Social and was founder and former director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. She is also an associate with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Professor Wattenberg serves on the Hennepin County Children's Justice Initiative Task Force, authorized by the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Mortality Review Committee of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and is on the advisory committee for the Employment Action Center.

She is also a contributor to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and her opinions have been published in the New York Times.

Research Interests

  • In 2010, Professor Wattenberg completed a study sponsored by the Children's Trust Fund, Minnesota Department of Human Services on "Building Capacity to Strengthen the Well-Being of Immigrant Families and Their Children: A Prevention Strategy." (In that connection, Latino, Hmong, and Somali "Cultural Guides" are available on the CASCW website.)
  • "New Populaiotns in Rural Counties: Implications for Child Welfare," Final Report, is also available on the CASCW website.
  • Extensive grant-funded research in the areas of contemporary child welfare, social policy and delivery systems for family and children's services, and community development.
  • Principal Investigator for "Directing Attention to Drug and Alcohol Endangered Children: Community Engagement in Decision-Making," funded by the Office of Justice Programs, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, January 2004.
  • Principal Investigator for "A Study of Children in Multiple Placements: Factors in Stability and Instability," funded by Hennepin County, Minnesota, The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota, March 2003 to March 2004.
  • Principal Investigator for "Matching Needs and Resources," a planning grant from the Agricultural Extension Services, University of Minnesota, to study "Opportunities for Responding to Vulnerable Children and Families: A Model of Community Engagement in Decision-Making in Rural Counties and Adjacent American Indian Reservations," March 2003.

Other Research and Publications

Wattenberg, E., Troy K. & Beuch, A. (2011). Protective supervision: An Inquiry into the relationship between child welfare and the court system. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 346-350.

Wattenberg, E., Edited monographs entitled Practice Notes:

Issue #23 Children in "Newly Poor" Families: Coping with the Economic Crisis, Summer 2010

Special Practice Prompt on Developmental Risk (Spring 2010) Children in Immigrant and Refugee Families: Recognizing Developmental Risk at an Early Age and Recognizing Developmental Risk at an Early Age

Issue #22 Supervision: The Key to Strengthening Practice in Child Welfare, Winter 2009

Issue #21 Visiting Children in Foster Care: Messages from the Practice Field, Summer 2008 and Abbreviated Reference Tool for Developmental Milestones

Issue #20 Responding to Traumatic Events: Children in Life-Threatening Circumstances , January, 2008. 

Issue #19 Reinforcing the Importance of Attachment for Child Welfare Practice, July, 2007. 

Issue #18 Trial Home Visits: Strengthening Reunification Practices, March 2006

Issue #17 Double Jeopardy: Youth Involved in Dual Systems of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice-Mental Health Screening, August 2005

Issue #16 Referral for Disabilities: A New Responsibility for Child Protection, February 2005.

"The Fatherhood Factor in Permanency Planning," Practice Notes, Issue No. 15, March 2004; "The Exploratory Interview of a Maltreatment Report: The First Encounter in a Child Protection System," Practice Notes, Issue No. 14, July 2003; "Visitation: Through the Eyes of a Child," Practice Notes, Issue No. 13, January 2003; "Family Group Decision-Making: Incorporating Family Strengths, Concerns, and Resources in Developing a Safety Plan," Practice Notes, Issue No. 12, September 2002; "Mediation for Child Welfare", Practice Notes, Issue No. 11, Fall, 2001; and "The Contribution of Ethnographic Interviewing to Culturally Competent Practice", Practice Notes, Issue No. 10, Winter 2001. Available on-line at: Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

"A Briefing Paper on the Minnesota Child Welfare System: Responding to the Needs of Children Unable to Live at Home," April, 2002. Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

"Family-Support Infrastructure is Crumbling," Op-Ed piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 2, 2004, as part of a series entitled, "The Lost Youth of Leech Lake: Perspectives on a Disturbing Portrait," Star Tribune, April 25-27, 2004.

Principal Investigator for "Improving Practice with High-Risk Families and Children", funded by the McKnight Foundation, 2001-2002.

Principal Investigator for the study "Developing Optimal Permanent Placements for Young Children in Foster Care", funded by The McKnight Foundation, 1999-2002.

Selected Publications

  1. Wattenberg, E., Troy K. & Beuch, A. (2011). Protective supervision: An Inquiry into the relationship between child welfare and the court system. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 346-350.

  2. “Brief Encounters: Children in shelter for seven days or less, Children and Youth ServicesReview, Volume 26, Issue 6, June 2004, pages 591-607, Elsevier Press. Available on-line at http://authors.Elsevier.com/sd/article/S0190740904000416.

  3. “A Briefing Paper on the MinnesotaChild Welfare System: Responding to the Needs of Children Unable to Live at Home,” April, 2002. Available on-line at: http://ssw.che.umn.edu/cascw.

  4. “When the Rehabilitation Ideal Fails: A Study of Parental Rights Termination,” Child Welfare, Volume LXXX, No. 4, July/August, 2001.

  5. Editor of A Social Justice Framework for Child Welfare: The Agenda for a New Century, proceedings of the conference held June 23, 2000, University of Minnesota, available from Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work, 205 Peters Hall, 1404 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul  MN  55108.Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota.

  6. Editor of  Sovereignty:  The Heart of the Matter -- Critical Considerations on the Interface between ICWA and ASFA, proceedings of the conference held May 17, 2000, University of Minnesota, available from Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work, 205 Peters Hall, 1404 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul  MN  55108.

  7. Editor of The Fragile Early Years: Assessing the Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers, proceedings of the conference held September 30, 1999, Universityof Minnesota, available online from Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, Schoolof Social Work, http://ssw.che.umn.edu/cascw.