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Joseph P. Ryan

Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies, ISR

Joe Ryan's research and teaching build upon his direct practice experiences with child welfare and juvenile justice populations. Dr. Ryan is the Co-Director of the Child and Adolescent Data Lab an applied research center focused on using data to drive policy and practice decisions in the field. He is currently involved with several studies including a randomized clinical trial of recovery coaches for substance abusing parents in Illinois (AODA Demonstration) , a foster care placement prevention study for young children in Michigan (MI Family Demonstration), a Pay for Success (social impact bonds) study focused on high risk adolescents involved with the Illinois child welfare and juvenile justice system and a study of the educational experiences of youth in foster care (Kellogg Foundation Education and Equity).

He is currently serving on the editorial board of four journals (Child Maltreatment, Social Work Research, Residential Treatment for Children and Youth and Child Welfare).

Ryan is committed to building strong University and public agency partnerships that utilize empirical evidence to advance knowledge and address critical questions in the fields of child welfare and juvenile justice.

Research Interests/Focus

Child welfare, juvenile justice, welfare system, public policy, child maltreatment


Year Degree   School
2002 PhD Social Work University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1996 MSW Social Work University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1992 BA Psychology University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


Child & Adolescent Data Lab
AODA Demonstration
MIFamily Demonstration
Kellogg Foundation Education and Equity

Ryan, J. P., Perron, B. E., Moore, A., & Victor, B. (in press). Foster home placements and the probability of family reunification: does licensing matter? Child Abuse and Neglect.

Huang, H., Ryan, J. P., Sappleton, A., & Chiu, Y. (in press). Crossover your post arrest: Placement status and recidivism. Children and Youth Services Review.

Ryan, J. P., Perron, B. E., & Huang, H. (2016). Child welfare and the transition to adulthood: Investigating placement status and subsequent arrests. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(1), 172-182.

Hong, J. S., Espelage, D., & Ryan, J. P. (2015). Understanding the antecedents of adverse peer relationships among early adolescents in the United States: An ecological systems analysis. Youth and Society.

Huang, H., Ryan, J. P., Sappleton, A., & Chiu, Y. (2015). Crossover youth post arrest: Placement status and recidivism. Children and Youth Services Review.

Williams, A. B., Ryan, J. P., Davis-Kean, P. E., McLoyd, V. C., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). The discontinuity of offending in African-American youth in the juvenile justice system. Youth and Society.

Huang, H. & Ryan, J. P. (2014). The location of placement and juvenile delinquency: Do neighborhoods matter in child welfare? Children and Youth Services Review, 44, 33-45.

Hong, J. S. & Ryan, J. P. (2014). Juvenile Delinquents. In L. Cousins & G. Golson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity.

Perron, B., Vaughn, M., Ryan, J., Salas-Wright, C., Ruffolo, M. & Guerrero, E. (2014). Predictive validity of self-reported head injury among delinquent youth. In M. DeLisis & M. G. Vaughn (Eds.), International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology. New York, NY: Routledge Press.

Hong, J. S., & Ryan, J. P., Hernandez, P. M., & Brown, S. (2014). The termination of parental rights for parents with substance use disorder: For whom and then what? Social Work in Public Health, 29, 503-517.

Ryan, J. P., Abrams, L. & Huang, H. (2014). First-time violent juvenile offenders: probation, placement and recidivism. Social Work Research, 38, 7-18.

Ryan, J. & Huang, H. (2014). Substance abuse and child welfare. In Mallon and Hess (Eds.), Child Welfare for The 21st Century: A Handbook of Policies and Programs (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Douglas-Siegel, J. & Ryan, J. P. (2013). The effect of recovery coaches for substance-involved mothers in child welfare: Impact on juvenile delinquency. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(4), 381-387.

Ryan, J. P., Williams, A., & Courtney, M E. (2013). Adolescent neglect, juvenile delinquency and the risk of recidivism. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 454-465.

Hong, J. S., Ryan, P. P., Chiu, Y. L., & Sabri, B. (2013). Re-arrest among juvenile justice-involved youth; an examination of the static and dynamic risk factors. Residential Treatment and Youth, Vol30(2), 131-148.

Ryan, J. P. (2012). Substitute care in child welfare and the risk of arrest: does the reason for placement matter? Child Maltreatment, 17(2), 164-171.

Choi, S., Huang, H., & Ryan, J. (2012). Substance abuse treatment completion in child welfare: Does substance abuse treatment completion matter in the decision of family reunification? Children and Youth Services Review.

Huang, H., Ryan, J. P., & Herz, D. (2012). The journey of dually involved youth: The prediction and description of rereporting and recidivism. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 254-260.

Huang, H. & Ryan, J. P. (2011). Trying to come home: Substance exposed infants, mothers, and family reunification. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 322-329.

Chiu, Y., Ryan, J. P. & Herz, D. (2011). Allegations of maltreatment and delinquency: Does the risk of juvenile arrest vary by substitution status? Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 855-860.

Herz, D., Ryan, J., & Bilchik, S. (2010). Challenges facing crossover youth: An examination of juvenile-justice: Decision-making and recidivism. Family Court Review, 48(2), 305-321.

Ryan, J., Hong, J., Herz, D., & Hernandez, P. (2010). Kinship foster care and the risk of juvenile delinquency. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(12), 1823-1830.

Park, M. & Ryan, J. P. (2009). Placement and permanency outcomes for children in out-of-home care by prior inpatient mental health treatment. Research on Social Work Practice, 19(1), 42-51.

Ryan, J. P., Choi, S., Hong, J., Hernandez, P. & Larrison, C. (2009). Recovery coaches and substance-exposed births: An experiment in child welfare. Child Abuse and Neglect, 32(11), 1072-1079.

Herz, D., Harada, S, Lecklitner, G., Rauso, M. & Ryan, J. P. (2009). Identifying and responding to criminogenic risk and mental health treatment needs of crossover youth. In J. Andrade (Ed.), Violence Risk Assessment and Treatment For Forensic Practitioners. New York: Springer Publishing.

Ryan, J. P., Testa, M. F., & Zhai, F. (2008). African American youth in foster care and the risk of delinquency: The value of social bonds and permanence. Child Welfare, 87(1), 115-140.

Ryan, J. P., Marshall, J. M., Herz, D., & Hernandez, P. (2008). Juvenile delinquency in child welfare: Investigating group home effects. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(9), 1088-1099.

Herz, D. & Ryan, J. (2008). Building Multisystem Approaches in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. Washington, D.C.: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform.

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