Kristen Shook Slack, A.M., Ph.D.


Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Chicago, 1999
A.M., Social Work, University of Chicago, 1993
B.A., University of Michigan, 1991

Office Address: 
215 School of Social Work
(608) 263-4630

Child abuse and neglect; poverty and child development; welfare and child welfare systems; welfare reform and child and family well-being; intimate partner abuse.


Kristen Slack’s research focuses on understanding the role of poverty and economic hardship in the etiology of child maltreatment, with a particular emphasis on child neglect. She is also interested in the caseload dynamics of child welfare systems in relation to other public benefit systems, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and in community-based programs designed to prevent child maltreatment. Her work advances approaches to better coordinating services and benefits to effectively address the economic needs of families at risk for child maltreatment, and improved assessment strategies for identifying risks and protective factors related to child neglect. Her research is primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Recent Publications: 
Slack, K. S., & Paul J. (In Press).  Child Welfare Policy. (E. Dearing, Votruba-Drzal, E., Ed.).The Handbook of Early Childhood Development Programs, Practices, and Policies: Theory-based and Empirically-supported Strategies for Promoting Young Children’s Growth in the United States.

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