ReSHAPING

Amy Dworsky, PHD

Image is a headshot of Amy Dworsky, set inside the four corners of the ReSHAPING logo.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Dr. Amy Dworsky is a Chapin Hall Research Fellow whose research focuses on vulnerable youth populations, including youth aging out of foster care, homeless youth, and foster youth who are pregnant and/or parenting, as well as the systems in which those youth are involved. Dr. Dworsky was the Principal Investigator for an evaluation of a pilot program that connects pregnant and parenting youth in care with home visiting services and for an evaluation of a Risk Reduction Training for pregnant and parenting youth in care designed to reduce infant mortality. She is currently leading CQI activities for two evidence based home visiting programs as part of the Illinois Family First evaluation plan and is Co-Investigator for the Center for Professional Development on Promoting Adolescent Health and Preventing Pregnancy among Vulnerable Youth, which is funded by the Office of Population Affairs. She is also working with a team of researchers from the Urban Institute and Chapin Hall on a federally funded project that is developing a research agenda to build the evidence base for programs that serve transition age youth in care, and is the Principal Investigator for the formative evaluation of the Home Visiting for Homeless Families Project in Illinois. She has led a number of studies related to pregnant and parenting youth in foster care, including an analysis of child welfare services involvement among children born to youth in foster care, a study of the young parents who recently emancipated from foster care, and an implementation evaluation of a pregnancy prevention and sexual health training for caseworkers and foster parents. She was also a Co-Investigator for Voices of Youth Count, a national research and policy initiative focused on ending youth homelessness.

What led you to this work? 

My research on pregnant and parenting youth in foster care is an outgrowth of both my prior research on youth aging out of foster care and my practice experience as a social worker providing counseling and case management to pregnant and parenting youth in school and community settings.

What research questions are you currently working on answering or what are you most interested in answering? 

I recently completed two evaluations: one of a pilot program that connects pregnant and parenting youth in care with home visiting services and another of a Risk Reduction Training for pregnant and parenting youth in care designed to reduce infant mortality. I am interested in programs for parenting youth in care and their children that can break the intergenerational cycle of child welfare services involvement.

Their research