Research & Evaluation

The staff at TXICFW consists of experienced researchers who have direct practice experience in the field. When asked to perform an evaluation of a program or service TXICFW’s primary concerns are how an evaluation can positively contribute to the community and elicit impactful change, by translating this research to practical recommendations that can be used by those directly working with children and families. The TXICFW conducts process and outcome evaluations utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods to ensure that the full range of contributing factors of a program’s success are captured and considered in future program improvements. The TXICFW team leads every step needed to successfully evaluate including:

  • Research development & design
  • Survey development and administration
  • Data management and analysis
  • Results synthesis and dissemination by creating full reports & briefs, presentations, one pagers, infographics and or video.

A key feature in our research and evaluation services is our commitment to translating our research for a wide audience to ensure accessibility and utility for direct service practitioners, advocates, policymakers, children, parents, and families.

Interested evaluating your program, services, or community initiatives?
please contact: Monica Faulkner at

See our current Research & Evaluation projects below:

Current Projects

Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative

Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative

Project Overview: The Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative (TFYHI) builds relationships across child welfare and adolescent health systems to promote optimal health for child welfare-involved youth. In partnership with the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services, the Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative will establish, fund, coordinate,… Read more »

Strong Fathers Strong Families Research Project

Project Overview: The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing has been contracted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to develop an evaluation plan for the Strong Fathers Strong Families program, a father engagement program implemented at schools throughout the country as well as internationally. Strong Fathers Strong Families have a variety of events within… Read more »

Learning About Healthy Relationships

About the study Foster youth tend to interact with many people, but they have few genuine connections. Older youth are most likely to experience placement instability that impacts their ability to develop and maintain close relationships with family, caregivers, peers, and dating partners. Rules in foster care often prohibit romantic relationships, yet foster youth have… Read more »

Texas Permanency Outcomes Project (TXPOP)

The Texas Permanency Outcomes Project (TXPOP) develops sustainable best practices utilized by child welfare agencies across Texas to connect children to their birth families, regardless of their permanency outcome. TXPOP is a project of the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing and the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, in collaboration with the… Read more »


Girasol strives to help Texas immigrant children and families to heal from trauma through support, education, and connection. Girasol is housed in the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing at the University of Texas at Austin and works with community partners to support immigrants by providing services to women and children both during and… Read more »

SHINE: positive Sexual Health for youth IN out-of-home Environments

SHINE logo

Youth who have experienced adversity have higher rates of adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections compared to youth in general.  Those in out-of-home care may miss sexual health education in schools and often have not had reliable caregivers to provide them with accurate sexual health information. Compounding the issue, many of these youth have experienced… Read more »

Safe Babies Program Evaluation

Safe Babies Logo

The Safe Babies program is designed to improve outcomes for infants and toddlers in foster care by supporting their attachment needs at the most critical time in a child’s development.  First3Years, formerly Texas Association for Infant Mental Health (TAIMH), began in 1980 as a group of volunteers in the infant mental health field who were concerned about… Read more »

Texas Youth Permanency Study


The Texas Youth Permanency Study (TYPS) examines the long-term outcomes and opportunities of youth in the Texas Foster Care System. Specifically, the study seeks to understand the quality of relationships developed by youth in care and identify factors that help youth sustain strong and supportive relationships when they exit out of foster care. Relational permanency… Read more »

Project HOPES Evaluation

HOPEs logo

Understanding the impact of community-based child maltreatment prevention. The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing (TXICFW) at the University of Texas at Austin is collaborating with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) division to carry out a cross-site evaluation of the Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support… Read more »

Child Care Market Rate and Quality Care Survey


The Texas Child Care Survey is a project carried out by the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing and the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at The University of Texas at Austin under contract with the Texas Workforce Commission. The survey has two sections: the Texas Child Care Market Rate… Read more »

Hispanic Parent Study

Researchers at the School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin are conducting a study to understand how cultural values influence parenting within Hispanic families. Researchers leading this study include Drs. Lauren Gulbas, Esther Calzada and Monica Faulkner. Focus groups will be held this summer with parents of children ages 0-5, 6-10 and 10-18.  Focus… Read more »

Undocumented Latino Families

TXICFW is working to strengthen and formalize UT School of Social Work’s response to recent waves of migrants seeking asylum, particularly from the “Northern Triangle” countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Given that Texas has a large number of immigration detention facilities, including two facilities that house women and children, social workers have been… Read more »

Completed Projects

Sexual Health of Foster Youth: Needs Assessment Findings Final Report

Square version of SHINE report cover

November 2019 Over the past decade, academic research has documented disproportionately high rates of pregnancy among current and former foster youth. It is estimated that females who experience foster care are two to three times more likely to become teen mothers.[1] In Texas, female foster youth are almost five times more likely to become pregnant… Read more »

National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption & Guardianship Support & Preservation

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The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) was a five-year project working with eight sites that implemented evidence-based interventions or developed and tested promising practices to achieve long-term, stable permanence in adoptive and guardianship homes. Final QIC-AG Report The final report for the QIC-AG project includes an executive summary,… Read more »

PEI Retrospective Data Analysis

TXICFW is conducting the Retrospective Data Analysis for the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) project of DFPS. This project entails the aggregation, cleaning, analyses, and dissemination of PEI data collected on families receiving services from 2007 to 2015. Through the examination of descriptive and inferential statistics, the project hopes to uncover valuable information on child… Read more »

TWC Statewide Disabilities Needs Assessment

The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing conducted periodic statewide needs assessments for the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The purpose of the needs assessments is to gain a better understanding of the vocational rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities. TWC uses the recommendations which result from the needs assessments to update agency goals, priorities, and strategies. Reports summarizing the two most recent needs… Read more »

COAC Family Connections Project

The Family Connections Project is funded through a federal grant from the Administration on Children and Families. Dr. Faulkner has been contracted by the New York Council on Adoptable Children (COAC), the primary ACF grantee, to oversee the program evaluation for the project.  The purpose of the project is to examine the effectiveness of the… Read more »

OASH Mobilization for Health Award

HYP logo

The Healthy Youth Partnership (“HYP”) is a volunteer-led collaboration working to support youth-serving professionals in the Central Texas community.  Through the Mobilization for Health: National Prevention Partnership Award, HYP  increased the capacity of the Central Texas community to provide evidence-based sexual health programs to youth through two mechanisms: 1) direct programming to youth to support… Read more »

Cardea Connections Project

Cardea connections project logo

Connecting disconnected youth to programs that support healthy sexual outcomes. The Connections Project aims to reduce the disproportionate pregnancy and birth rate among “disconnected” youth in Texas by connecting youth to knowledge, awareness and services, and connecting service providers to one another. The project seeks to improve youth’s knowledge and awareness of healthy sexuality through use of evidence-based teen… Read more »

SB 44 Needs Assessment

Listening & Learning from the Community: Understanding the needs of families with children who have a serious behavioral or emotional disturbance Roughly 5% of children are classified as having a serious emotional disturbance. Children with a serious emotional disturbance may require extensive and costly medical, behavioral and educational supports. For many families, appropriate resources are… Read more »

Texas Trio Project

Principal Investigators: Dr. Monica Faulkner & Dr. Beth Gerlach Sponsor: Texas Education Agency (TEA) Purpose:  To conduct a process evaluation, data sharing recommendations, training and technical assistance and a survey of school district foster care liaisons.  The Texas Trio Project will develop a state plan and protocol for education and foster care collaborations as well… Read more »

Institute of Higher Education Capacity and Effectiveness Survey

Principal Investigators: Heath Price (RMC) Sponsor: Texas Early Learning Council (TELC) Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of Texas’s institutes of higher education’s (IHE) capacity to successfully educate the early childhood workforce. Data was be collected from administrators at IHEs and from teachers and care providers with degrees or certifications from these IHEs during both on-line… Read more »

Early Childhood Workforce Professional Study

Principal Investigators: Dr. Monica Faulkner, Dr. Dnika Travis, & Dr. Daniel Schroeder Sponsor: Texas Early Learning Council (TELC) Purpose: To conduct a survey to provide reliable and current estimates of compensation and retention rates of child care workers in Texas.

Child Care Provider Well-being: Relationship Between Mental Health and Work

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dnika Travis Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Monica Faulkner Sponsor: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health The purpose of this study is to examine child care providers’ help seeking behaviors and barriers to mental health treatment.  There are almost 25,000 childcare providers in Texas serving over one million children a year (DFPS).  Given the numbers… Read more »