Center for Child and Family Policy

Annual report


Solid Square
Happy family with two teen kids
Solid Square

Geometric Pattern Background Illustration










From the Director

2022—2023 Highlights

Research in the Spotlight

Education by the Numbers

Course Offerings

Our Graduates

Community Engagement

Celebrating Family Connects International

from the Director

On behalf of the Center for Child and Family Policy (CCFP), I am pleased to share with you our progress in improving the well-being of children and families through research, education, and engagement over the 2022-2023 academic year.

This was a productive and busy year for our team, and as always, our accomplishments and successes depend on the collective action of many individuals and organizations united by purpose and mission.

Among key highlights in 2022-2023, CCFP was awarded $17.3 million in new project funding and had 36 active sources of external support for research. We engaged more than 1,200 students, faculty, staff, and community members from Duke and around the country via 37 lectures, seminars, and special events. We delivered thoughtful educational and research experiences for students through our undergraduate certificate program, independent study and honors thesis mentoring, research assistantships, and a speaker series dedicated to exploring careers in child and family policy.

We continue to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all facets of our work and are deeply committed to addressing systemic racism.

CCFP faculty, staff, researchers, and students are grateful to our community partners and funders who support and propel our work. We look forward to engaging with you in more ways in the years ahead.

Jennifer E. Lansford, Ph.D.


Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Solid Square

From the director | 1

2022-2023 HIGHLIGHTS


In research Grants AWARDED





students, faculty, staff, and community


members from Duke and around the country THROUGH

LECTURES, seminars, and special events.

Transparent White Gradient

2022-2023 Highlights | 2



In the Spotlight

Exploring the origins of people's world beliefs

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Lansford

Primal world beliefs, or primals for short, are an individual’s fundamental beliefs about the world, such as the world is safe or the world is dangerous. This project aims to understand how primals are formed by drawing on data from the Parenting Across Cultures longitudinal study of children, mothers, and fathers from nine countries. This extensive cross-national dataset provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore whether and how primals in early adulthood are predicted by childhood and adolescent experiences and how parents’ primals are related to their young adult children’s primals.

Poverty and Economic Self-Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children

Principal Investigator: lisa gennetian

A collaboration between Child Trends and three university-based research partners, this study serves as a hub of research-based information on low-income Hispanic families with children. The Poverty and Economic Self-Sufficiency research examines economic instability, use and experiences with government programs and benefits, and Hispanic parents’ time at work and with children considering the heterogeneity of Hispanic children across dimensions of parents’ U.S. nativity status, ethnic origin, and English language proficiency.




In the Spotlight


North Carolina Infant Toddler Cost Feasibility Study

Principal Investigators:

nicole Lawrence & Liz SNyder-Fickler

Researchers from CCFP are working with Child Trends to gather feedback from parents and providers on what they believe makes a high-quality early care and education environment for infants and toddlers. This feedback will be used as part of a feasibility study for a large-scale high-quality early learning program for low-income and at-risk children birth to three, aligning with North Carolina's Early Childhood Action Plan based on the Preschool Development Needs Assessment.

Developing and Evaluating Progressive Prosecution in Durham

PrINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: elizabeth gifford

Researchers from CCFP, in partnership with the Wilson Center for Law and Justice at Duke Law School, and in collaboration with the Durham District Attorney's office, are part of a team that is developing a novel tool for collecting data on plea bargaining practices. This data collection tool will not only assist the DA’s office in developing and evaluating new plea bargaining policies, but will provide the foundation for a data collection system that can be used for ongoing evaluation and quality improvement. The data collection system developed through this research project will enable evidence-informed prosecution in Durham and provide a model for other jurisdictions.





Black Circle Paint Stroke Scribble



Soft Scribble Heart

Students attended one or more sessions of CCFP’s Careers in Child & Family Policy speaker series

Students assisted CCFP research projects

Soft Scribble Heart



Students enrolled in

Child Policy Research Certificate program

Students graduated from the Child Policy Research Certificate program

Transparent White Gradient




Fall 2022

Cornerstone Course: Child Policy Research

ChildPol 250S/PubPol 242S


Megan Golonka

Applied Collaborative Research on

Early Childhood

ChildPol 490S


Katie Rosanbalm


Cornerstone Course: Child Policy Research

ChildPol 250S.01/PubPol 242S.01


Megan Golonka

Capstone Course: Child Policy Certificate

ChildPol 495S.01/PubPol 420S.01


Katie Rosanbalm

Spotlight on NEW COURSE


In Spring 2023, the Center for Child and Family Policy launched a new course as part of the Child Policy Research Certificate program.

Led by Dr. Whitney McCoy and Dr. Nicole Lawrence, Equity in Early Childhood Programs and Policies (ChildPol 325S) explores contemporary theories and empirical research that address issues of equity and early childhood development from birth to age eight.

Students in this class examine factors related to individuals and systems that impact early childhood development and critically consider the social, political, and economic forces that shape the study of young children and have contributed to developmental trajectories that benefit some children while disadvantaging others.


Our Graduates

Pictured left to right, back row: Megan Golonka (Instructor), Brynn Louise Meyercord, Aspen Martin, Katie Rosanbalm (Instructor), Annie Hagood Sheeder, and Kellyn McDonald. Front row: Sihan (Jen) Wang, Molly Carson, and Grace Lee.

In May 2023, we celebrated seven graduates from the Child Policy Research Certificate program.

Following graduation, our students moved on to a number of exciting opportunities, gaining real-world experience through fellowships and jobs at research and advisory company Gartner in Washington, D.C.; the University of Virginia Health System; and in La Rioja, Spain; with one graduate serving as a Fulbright English teaching assistant. Others are pursuing graduate school in their chosen fields at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in New York and the University of Virginia.

To learn more about our class of 2023 and their research projects, visit our website:

Our graduates | 7

Geometric Pattern Background Illustration



Lectures, seminars, and special events during the academic year, including:

Sulzberger Distinguished Lectures

  • Dudley Flood, former educator and champion of school integration, School Desegregation: Past, Present and Future

  • Dr. Velma McBride Murry, associate provost in the Office of Research and Innovation at Vanderbilt University, Intervening to Prevent and Reduce Behavioral Health Disparities

Early Childhood Initiative Speakers

  • Amy Ellen Schwartz, dean of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware, Distance and Disengagement in Middle School: Does Transportation Make a Difference?

  • Eva Marie Shivers, J.D., Ph.D., founder and executive director of Indigo Cultural Center, Addressing Disparities in Early Care and Education through Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

  • Shantel Meek, professor of practice and the founding director of the Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University, Dismantling Systemic Racism in Early Care and Early Education

School Research Partnership Event

Conducting Research in Schools

  • Cherry Johnson of Johnston County Schools, Colleen Paeplow of Wake County Public Schools, Albert Royster of Durham Public Schools, and Diane Villwock of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Triangle Economics of Education Workshop

  • Dr. Thomas S. Dee, Barnett Family Professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education

Color of Education 2022

Co-hosted with the Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity & Opportunity, the Public School Forum NC, and Samuel Dubois Cook Center for Social Equity

  • Dr. Jelani Cobb, Dean of Columbia University and staff writer at The New Yorker.

Celebrating the Launch of Family Connects International, honoring the individuals who were instrumental in the research, implementation, and management of the successful nurse home visiting program as it launched as an independent nonprofit organization

Careers in Child and Family Policy Series

Black Circle Paint Stroke Scribble

With support from the Kenan Institute’s Purpose Project, CCFP hosted 10 sessions featuring people who work in a variety of fields. The series attracted over 50 interested students.

Black Arrow Paint Stroke Scribble

engagement | 8

celebrating the launch of

family connects international

Family Connects International (FCI) Board Members Monica Basu, Steven Green, David Willis, and Staci Croom-Raley joined FCI Executive Director Sherika Hill for a reception celebrating the launch of FCI as an independent nonprofit organization in October 2022.

Kenneth Dodge, founder of the Center for Child and Family Policy and founder of FCI, shared the story of the nurse home visiting program and its growth and impact over time.

Phil Redmond of The Duke Endowment spoke about the history of the foundation’s support for FCI.

Sanford School of Public Policy Dean Judith Kelley joined the celebration via video to congratulate the community.


After a partnership at Duke University, FCI launched as an independent nonprofit in July 2022, enabling it to impact more families and provide community partners with expanded services and higher levels of support to implement the Family Connects Model.

The Family Connects Model is an evidence-based program that provides vital in-home clinical care by nurses and referrals to local supports for newborns and their family members. Family Connects is designed to support optimal maternal-child health and advance equitable outcomes while promoting better aligned community care systems.

family connects launch | 9

Questions? Feedback? Contact:

Sarah Brantley

Communications Director

Simple Facebook Icon
LinkedIn Logo 蓝白领英社交媒体

Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Sanford School of Public Policy

Duke Box 90545

Durham, NC 27708 | USA