Current Projects

Child Care Market Rate Survey

Principal Investigators: Dr. Jim Schwab & Dr. Dnika Travis
Project Manager: Dr. Monica Faulkner
Sponsor: Texas Workforce Commission
Purpose: The Child Care Market Rate Survey is an annual survey of child care rates across various submarkets in Texas.  Information is provided to the Texas Workforce Commission to inform decisions about local childcare subsidy rates.
To download the annual report, visit the Publications page here.

For more information on this project, please visit:

Child Welfare Education Collaboration (CWEC)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jim Schwab
Director: Chris Johnson, LMSW IPR
Student Coordinator: Jennifer Graham, LMSW
Purpose: Linking social work education with public child welfare. CWEC is funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, federal Title IV-E and cost sharing by the University of Texas at Austin. This partnership results in:
Students who are well prepared for child welfare practice, with anticipated paid employment at CPS and financial support
for their education
The School of Social Work fulfilling its long-standing mission related to child welfare
CPS staffed to offer competent services to the most vulnerable populations
For more information on this project, please visit:

Connections Project

Principal Investigators: Dr. Monica Faulkner
Sponsor: Cardea
Purpose: to conduct a program evaluation of federally funded teen pregnancy prevention program that is being run by Cardea Health Services. The program has six partner agencies across the state that are either residential treatment centers, juvenile justice facilities or foster care shelters.

Evaluation of Texas Foster Care Redesign

Principal Investigators: Dr. Jim Schwab, Dr. Monica Faulkner, Dr. Rowena Fong
Project Manager: Dr. Monica Faulkner
Research Team Members:  Jen Scott, Tiffany Ryan, Dr. Beth Gerlach
Sponsor: Casey Family Programs
Purpose: Texas is redesigning it’s system for contracting and procuring foster care services.  Our team is completing a qualitative evaluation of the first two phases of the foster care redesign.
For more information on this project, please see: TX Redesign Initial Implementation Evaluation_Two-Pager

Exploring the effects of parental deportation on U.S. citizen children

Principal Investigators: Dean Luis Zayas
Sponsor: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Purpose: U .S.-born citizen-children of undocumented or illegal immigrants are often the unintended victims of deportation policies. When deported, parents must make critical decisions: to take their citizen-children with them or leave them behind in the care of others. But, what happens to the psychosocial functioning of citizen-children who have left the U.S. or remained behind after immigration-enforcement actions are taken against their parents? To begin answering these questions, this R21 will (a) develop the methods and test their feasibility in recruiting, interviewing, and following children affected by their parents’ deportation; and (b) collect preliminary data to develop detailed psychological and social profiles of how children fare during a six month period as they adjust to their circumstances. A team of researchers from the U.S. and Mexico, will conduct in-depth interviews and clinical assessments of 60 children between 10 and 12 years of age spread across three groups: 20 who accompanied their deported parents to Mexico; 20 who remained in the U.S. when parents were deported; and a comparison group of 20 citizen-children whose undocumented parents are not being deported at the time. The developmental-exploratory aims are to:

  1. Develop procedures for a bi-national (U.S.-Mexico) exploratory, longitudinal project on citizen-children.
  2. Develop and test in-depth interviews and clinical measures to be used at 2 data-collection points.
  3. Compare the experiences and clinical profiles of citizen-children in all three groups.
    Findings and experience gained through this project will set the basis for a rigorous R01 application that will, together with the present project, inform developmental science and influence national policy. This project aligns with NICHD’s mission “that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people.” Specifically, NICHD’s Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch urges exploration of why people migrate, how it reshapes them, and how movement affects children’s behavior problems.