Dr. Andrew Winters

 andrew winters

Assistant Professor

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Dr. Winters research focuses attention on the relative effectiveness of different types of services provided through the behavioral health, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems to children and adolescents involved in these systems. His research agenda addresses two focal areas: service equity, access, and alignment for youth with multiple system involvement, and the capacity and readiness of the workforce to deliver these services. Dr. Winters is particularly interested in the facilitators and barriers to service implementation and sustainability within child serving systems. Dr. Winters research impacts practice and policy by drawing attention to ineffective system reactions. He is currently engaged in three community-based research projects.

Dr. Winters is the Principal Investigator on a three-year study evaluating an intervention to address substance use concerns among child welfare involved parents or guardians. The Volunteers of America Mid States in partnership with the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services implemented a novel intervention co-locating a behavioral health clinician into three child welfare office spaces. The evaluation of the intervention is three-fold: To assess child welfare outcomes, research partners will utilize administrative data to compare overall rates of out-of-home care placement and reunification time among families between three intervention and three comparison sites. To assess workforce outcomes, research partners will conduct survey research and focus groups in the intervention and comparison sites; and to assess fidelity to the intervention, the research team will evaluate compliance with defined fidelity markers.

Dr. Winters is Co-Principal Investigator on a two-year follow up study to Project SAFESPACE, exploring facilitators and barriers to intra-and interagency child welfare screening for trauma and behavioral health needs, and behavioral health functional assessment processes to understand what is contributing to compliance and practice issues. The research team plans to conduct a retrospective administrative data analysis, obtaining state level data to descriptively examine the relationship between screening, assessment and treatment and child welfare outcomes of safety, permanency, and well-being. The research team will also conduct focus groups with child welfare staff and behavioral health providers centering on the commonality of the experiences of the participants as they relate to screening and assessment practices in promoting youth outcomes.

Dr. Winters is part of the evaluation team for one of eight intervention sites in a five-year Children’s Bureau Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) grant dedicated to understanding how to improve child welfare workforce outcomes. The QIC-WD partnered with eight child welfare agencies to evaluate evidence-informed workforce interventions and how they are related to outcomes for children. Dr. Winters is part of the evaluation team for the Ohio site.