About Us

The Child Well-Being Research Institute (CWRI) is a national, multidisciplinary collective focused on promoting child well-being and maltreatment prevention through cutting-edge research that informs policy and practice. CWRI has a multi-faceted approach to actualizing the promises of the Child Well-Being Research Network.

Child Well-Being
Research Network

The Child Well-Being Research Network (CWRN) was a product of the Doris Duke Fellowships program founded by Dr. Deborah Daro at Chapin Hall, University of Chicago. It was comprised of 120 Doris Duke Fellows and was generously funded by the Doris Duke Foundation. The program was designed to identify and develop leaders who conduct practice and policy-relevant research that enhances child development and improves the nation’s ability to prevent all forms of child maltreatment. As the Fellowship ended, Fellows elected to transform that network into a broader, membership-driven network to support and connect child well-being researchers.

Transition to the
University of Kentucky College of Social Work

In 2023, the CWRN transitioned to its new institutional home, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. This transition allows the CWRN to expand with effective utilization of resources and efficient deployment of personnel.  During the transition to UK CoSW, CWRN will continue to explore new and innovative ways to conduct and support policy and practice relevant interdisciplinary research focused on child well-0beiong and the prevention of maltreatment.

CWRI Values


The CWRI will consistently look to innovate by engaging with new methods, ideas, processes, and products to help advance the science of child well-being.


The CWRI will consistently invest – financially and otherwise – in approaches germane to supporting CWRI activities and the people involved in those activities.


CWRI will consistently look to integrate the work of CWRI (and CWRN) across systems, in a way that fosters efficiency, efficacy, and impact.

Leadership Team

The director of the CWRI is Dr. Lisa Schelbe, associate professor at Florida State University College of Social Work. She was in the first cohort of the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being and has been involved in developing the CWRN from its inception. Dr. Schelbe is a qualitative methodologist, and her research focuses on young people in and aging out of foster care. Her newest book, Some Type of Way: Aging out of Foster Care, is an ethnography following the lives of five young people leaving foster care. Dr. Schelbe credits the Doris Duke Fellowship for solidifying her commitment to scholarship that impacts policy and practice seeking to end child maltreatment and promote well-being. She is excited to continue and expand this work with CWRN.

Lisa Schelbe

Advisory Council