Research Highlights


Center for Research to Transform Systems for Family, Community and Social Justice

Center for Research to Transform Systems for Family, Community & Social Justice Launches

A team of KU School of Social Welfare researchers is working to bring about that kind of child welfare system transformation.

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rural Kansas downtown from above

New Programs Equip Rural Social Workers With Much-Needed Resiliency Skills

The Center for Community Engagement & Outreach advances authentic relationships with key community and university partners to complement the School of Social Welfare’s community-engaged scholarship and instruction.

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woman talking with man in group session

Faculty Member Works to Elevate Unheard Voices to Influence Social Work Practice

Dr. alexander’s academic research is grounded in community, culture and place, and focuses on developing new ways to elevate voices of individuals who have historically been unheard, excluded or harmed in academia.

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traditional indigenous shoes

Faculty Member Elevates the Voice and Experiences of Indigenous People

Through teaching and research, she equips social workers to understand the unique history, strengths and needs of Indigenous people.

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Toni Johnson Scholars Program Helps Prepare Students to have Big Impact

Toni Johnson Scholars Program Helps Prepare Students to have Big Impact

Launched in the fall of 2021, the Toni Johnson Scholars program supports students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s in social
welfare who have experienced marginalization and oppression and Ph.D. students pursuing research on racial justice.

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rural Kansas farm

Integrated Health Scholars Program Focuses on Telehealth to Improve Patient Access

In the rural and frontier areas of Kansas, residents often live hours away from the nearest health care provider. But with the rise of telehealth seeing their doctor may be as easy as turning on their computer. Because telehealth is the service wave of th

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Center for LGBTQ+ Research and Advocacy Gains Momentum in Its First Year

Center for LGBTQ+ Research and Advocacy Gains Momentum in its First Year

Revolutionary. That’s one of the words Briana McGeough, Ph.D., uses to describe the existence and goals of the newly created Center for LGBTQ+ Research & Advocacy, located within the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.

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Professor Documents the Stories of Young African Refugees' Trek to Italy

Professor Documents the Stories of Young African Refugees' Trek to Italy

Terry Koenig documents the stories of young African refugees’ trek to Italy as part of "The Long Road Out of Africa: Inclusion and Identity in Como, Italy."

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Family Strong Aims to Prevent Family Crises and Keep Kids in their Homes

Family Strong Aims to Prevent Family Crises and Keep Kids in their Homes

The Family Strong demonstration project will focus on eight counties in southeast Kansas, a region where the out-of-home foster care placements for children is nearly double that in the rest of the state. Byers says the region also has many strengths the project will build upon, including an existing network of programs and partnerships that can provide the added support families need to stabilize and thrive.

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Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice Helps Prepare Students to have Big Impact in Social Welfare

Toni Johnson Scholars for Racial and Social Justice

Launched in the fall of 2021, the Toni Johnson Scholars program supports students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s in social welfare who have experienced marginalization and oppression and Ph.D. students pursuing research on racial justice. Through scholarship support, mentoring, and leadership and professional development opportunities, the program aims to enhance community, retention, and success for its scholars. 

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Researcher Studying Care and Safety Practices in Home-based Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

Researcher Studying Care and Safety Practices in Home-based Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world was reeling from the growing threat to our health and wellbeing, Carrie Wendel-Hummell’s thoughts went immediately to a group of people she knows well and is passionate about serving: older adults, people with disabilities, and the workers and caregivers who make it possible for these folks to remain in their own homes.

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KU Social Welfare Leader Has Focused Career on Ending Poverty

KU Social Welfare Leader Has Focused Career on Ending Poverty

Deborah Adams has spent years working with colleagues at KU and beyond to end poverty. She is passionate about helping develop policies and practices that will address income and asset poverty.

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Initiative Supports Well-being of Native American Families in Kansas

Initiative Supports Well-being of Native American Families in Kansas

KSNAF team leading the implementation of a five-year initiative funded by a Regional Partnership Grant from the Children’s Bureau, a federal agency focused on improving the live of children and families

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ROM Equips Child Welfare Groups with Data to Better Serve Children and Families

ROM Equips Child Welfare Groups with Data to Better Serve Children and Families

The average person’s eyes would probably glaze over when asked to sift through stacks of government reports. But for Jared Barton, this is exciting stuff. That’s because Barton knows that each data point is powerful: It represents a real child. When examined closely, these data reveal where children are thriving, or barely surviving, in the child welfare system.

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Integrated Health Scholars Program Improves Access to Care in Underserved Communities

Integrated Health Scholars Program Improves Access to Care in Underserved Communities

For many people living in Kansas’ vast rural areas getting the medical and behavioral health care services they need is a challenge. One barrier to accessing services is the shortage of health care professionals, including social workers, serving in their communities. The University of Kansas Integrated Health Scholars Program (IHSP) at the School of Social Welfare was funded to address this problem.

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Center for LGBTQ+ Research & Advocacy to Promote Social Change and Improve Lives

Center for LGBTQ+ Research & Advocacy to Promote Social Change and Improve Lives

Researchers are doing leading-edge work in LGBTQ+ issues in Kansas, but not a lot of people know it – yet. That’s about to change, when the Center for LGBTQ+ Research & Advocacy opens its virtual doors this summer. The Center, housed in the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, will put Kansas on the map as a hub for research, advocacy, community engagement, education, and scholarship focused on the experiences of sexually and gender diverse populations.

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Research Aims to Improve the Health of Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

Research Aims to Improve the Health of Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

When Cheryl Holmes shops for produce at the grocery store, she doesn’t just see apples or watermelons or lettuce. She sees the faces of the migratory and seasonal agricultural workers she knows who have worked long days – often 6:00 am to 8:00 pm in all weather, six days a week – to harvest each piece.

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Supporting Survivors of Partner Violence

Supporting Survivors of Partner Violence

Meredith Bagwell-Gray has seen the magic happen. When women who have experienced sexual abuse and intimate partner violence have a safe place to address their sexual trauma, they often begin to feel more empowered and in control of their sexuality. As a result, they are more likely to embrace positive sexual behaviors that have a profound impact on their health, like getting Pap tests and HPV vaccines, and seeing sexual health providers.

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