The Child and Family Research Institute (CFRI) is a partnership of researchers committed to producing quality research to guide policy and social work practice for children and families.
CFRI is a continuation/evolution of the Protective Services Training Institute (PSTI). PSTI was the first institute created at the Center for Social Work Research. Under the leadership of Dr. Jim Schwab, PSTI contracted with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to train Child Protective Services workers. For over 10 years, PSTI trained thousands of caseworkers across the State of Texas. While the focus on training was successful, there was a general desire to expand the institute’s impact to include research activities related to child welfare services and family issues in general. Thus, CFRI was created in 2010 to encompass both training and research related to child and family issues, with a strong emphasis on child welfare issues.
CFRI is currently in its third year of operation and continues to develop its infrastructure and is continually coordinating with potential faculty and research affiliates to develop workgroups for new subtopics. The institute has many pending and ongoing projects, which can be seen under Research Projects and Community Partnerships. CFRI is led by a number of research associates and carries out its various projects with the help of both graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Texas at Austin.