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Joseph P. Ryan

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

Joseph P. Ryan

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
Year Description
2016 Ryan, J. P. (2016) Does geography matter? Neighborhood changes and juvenile delinquency among foster youth. Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), Washington DC.
2015 Ryan, J. P. (2015). The transition to adulthood in child welfare: Comparing adolescents in foster care and intact family settings. SSWR, New Orleans, LA.
2015 Ryan, J. P. (2015, January). Integrated services in substance abuse treatment: Implications for implementation of the Affordable Care Act. SSWR, New Orleans, LA.
2015 Ryan, J. P. (2015, January). Screening for substance abuse in child welfare: Timing matters. SSWR, New Orleans, LA.
2015 Ryan, J. P. (2015). Adolescent Neglect and Juvenile Delinquency. Invited speaker at the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), New Orleans, LA.

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