There are two center projects and several pilot projects within the CICM. These projects incorporate multiple universities and a variety of disciplines from statistics, to developmental psychology and newborn medicine. Below are summaries of each project, its intention and leader(s) of each.

Center Projects


The Child Welfare Data SMART

(Specification, Management, Analysis, Replication & Transfer)

This project, lead by Brett Drake, aims to create new analytic products for any organization, both private and public, to have a uniform approach/format to upload and analyze data relating to child welfare called a ‘Common Data Structure’. This project will create a pathway for organizations to join together these sources of data and improve services for children and families in order to have a better informed and evidence-based policy approach to improve child welfare outcomes.

Site Principal Investigators 

Dr. Paul Lanier

Assistant Professor of Social Work at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jared Parrish

Senior Epidemiologist at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Dr. Emily Putnam-Hornstein

Associate Professor of Social Work, Director of LA Children’s Data Network at The University of Southern California.

Dr. Terry Shaw

Associate Professor of Social Work and Principal investigator of Multiagency data linking (LINKS) at University of Maryland, Baltimore. 

In the past 10 years, the study of child maltreatment has been revolutionized by the availability of large datasets and improvements in computer technology. These advances have created a new opportunity for researchers and public organizations to join together and improve services for children and families. The DataSMART project will establish a ‘Common Data Structure,’ which can be adopted by participating states, along with a library of cutting edge policy-relevant analysis programs. This will allow any state to use ‘off the shelf’ analytic products to support a truly evidence-based policy approach.

– Brett Drake


The Identification of Newborns at High Risk for the Occurrence of Preventable Child Maltreatment Project

This project, led by John Constantino at WashU Medical School, will study and compare the performance of newborn screening for identifying the risk of child maltreatment. This RCT will use record data, birth records and clinical assessments to improve targeting of preventive services.

“The study will implement long-term support strategies to prevent child abuse, initiated within the health system during the first days of a baby’s life.” – John Constantino

Pilot Projects



Identifying Prevalence of Known Maltreatment among Children with Developmental Disabilities.

The objective of this secondary data analysis project led by Alexis Duncan of the Brown School is to link data the Centers for Disease Control Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network with data on official reports of child maltreatment from Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division to obtain the incidence and lifetime prevalence of forms of child neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse and to determine what characteristics predict reports of child maltreatment among children with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy.


Permanency and Health Utilization Outcomes for Foster Youth Served in Medical Homes.

This project will cross reference health records from two Medical Homes with state foster care data to assess prevalence of health needs, ongoing care patterns, & permanency outcomes. This program will be lead by Timothy Kutz of WashU Medical School and Katie PlaxFerring Family Chair and Professor of Adolescent Medicine at WashU School of Medicine.


A New Administrative Data Linkage Strategy to Investigate CPS Involvement and Birth Trajectories among Substance Affected Mother- Infant Dyads

The objective of this project lead by Emily Putnam- Hornstein, PhD and Julia Reddy, MA aims to generate new knowledge about CPS involvement and birth trajectories using five years of linked administrative data. This research will serve as an exploratory analysis and data linkage that can be drawn upon from future studies, projects and publications.


Assessing the Utility of a Risk- Stratification Model to Increase Equitable Service Connection

In this project lead by Claire McNellen, MPH and Emily Putnam- Hornstein, PhD,  researchers will utilize a risk- stratification model to examine service patterns within risk categories to assess differences by racial/ ethnic and gender subpopulations. The study also aims to assess differences in community referrals between children and families to better work with agency partners in addressing unmet needs and rectify inequities in these services.


Advancing the Science on Child Maltreatment and Adult Labor Market Outcomes

In this study, Derek Brown, PhD aims to conduct a new publishable study on the impacts of child maltreatment and the adult labor market using previously published data. In assessing the state of current literature, this project intends to illuminate the societal burden of child maltreatment and correlating impacts on the labor market.

Community Engagement Core (CEC)

Click here to learn more about the CEC