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Child Welfare’s 21st-Century Research Agenda: An Anti-Racist Approach to Child Neglect Investigations

December 6, 2022 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EST


This webinar will provide an historical and contemporary overview of child neglect and its link to structural racism in child welfare. Then, the presenter will engage the audience in variations of child neglect definitions and the nuanced interpretations in child neglect investigations. The presentation will conclude with strategies to address and combat racial bias in child neglect reporting and in the substantiation of these investigations.

The 21st-century research agenda for child welfare calls for addressing research gaps in the quality of child protective services (CPS) investigations. Specifically, we need to understand more about how child welfare is responding to allegations of neglect and how improvements can be made.


About the Webinar Series

This webinar is one session in Social Current’s five-part learning series on the 21st-century research agenda for child welfare.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs and the William T. Grant Foundation are leading an initiative, along with many partners, to identify research gaps related to community-based family support, child protective services, out-of-home care, and post-permanency services. The initiative is now working to conduct research, rooted in equity and co-designed by people with lived experience, to address these gaps and answer key questions, as well as increase the use of this research in decision making. Learn more about the 21st-century research agenda for child welfare online.


  • Historical overview of child neglect, poverty, and structural racism in child welfare
  • Variations of child neglect definitions in child welfare
  • How to address racial disparities in child welfare investigative policies/practices
  • Mandated reporting requirements
  • Recommendations/strategies to combat race bias in child neglect investigations

Who Should Participate

  • Social workers
  • Child welfare professionals
  • Law enforcement
  • Child welfare academic scholars
  • Individuals with lived experiences in child welfare system involvement



Sherri Y. Simmons-Horton, Ph.D., LMSW

Assistant Professor
University of New Hampshire, Department of Social Work