A new research institute, the Child and Family Research Institute (CFRI), has been established in the Center for Social Work Research at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

The director of CFRI is Dr. James Schwab, the Clara Pope Willoughby Centennial 
Professor in Child Welfare
 and director of the Ph.D. Program.

Schwab developed CFRI, with encouragement and support from Dean Barbara White and Dr. Mary Velasquez, associate dean for research and director of the Center for Social Work Research, as a means to bring together researchers and students who conduct or wish to conduct research on child and family issues.

Schwab said the closing of the Protective Services Training Institute (PSTI) in the Center for Social Work Research in August 2010 left the school without an institute that directly addressed child welfare issues.

PSTI ceased operation after 20 years of providing training and certification programs for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

“CFRI will extend PSTI’s focus on child protective services training to include both training and research issues related to children and families,” Schwab said.

“The creation of CFRI is an evolving process. I have been working with Dr. Monica Faulkner, a former student of ours and a current research associate, to create this institute. Monica has agreed to serve as the associate director of CFRI, and we are committed to developing a successful institute here at UT.”