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Peter J. Pecora, PhD

Inducted in 2009

Current Position

Managing director of research services for Casey Family Programs, Professor, University of Washington School of Social Work


BA, MSW, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Ph.D., University of Washington

Dr. Pecora has a joint appointment as the Managing Director of Research Services for Casey Family Programs, and Professor, School of Social Work, University of Washington. He has worked with a number of state departments of social services in the United States and in other countries to refine foster care programs, implement intensive home-based services, and design risk assessment systems for child protective services.

Current projects include:
• Assessment of youth placed in group homes and residential treatment in Arkansas, Montana and Texas.
• Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback. Evaluate the implementation fidelity and outcomes of this predictive analytics and safety assessment models for child protective services in Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
• Parent Legal Representation Evaluation. With NYU School of Law and Action Research Partners evaluate the program in New York City.
• Project GAIN TANF Financial Assistance and Coaching. With Wisconsin public child welfare and the Children’s Trust Fund match local funding and a randomized control group design to assess the outcomes of families served by this project in Milwaukee.
• Signs of Safety: Evaluate the implementation fidelity of this safety and risk assessment models for child protective services in California, Canada, Europe, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Western Australia.
• Superutilizers in Child Welfare. With Florida and Tennessee, work with Medicaid and CW data to look at the characteristics of those who become super-utilizers and the actions of CW in making them super utilizers. (Mathematica is the primary contractor on this joint effort.)

He has published many journal articles and books, including:
• Pecora, P.J., Whittaker, J.K., Barth, R.P., Borja, S., & Vesneski, W. (2018). The child welfare challenge. (Fourth Edition). New York City: Taylor and Francis.
• Pecora, P. J., Kessler, R. C., Williams, J., Downs, A. C., English, D., & White, J. & O’Brien, K. (2010). What works in family foster care? Identifying key components of success from an alumni follow-up study. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
• Pecora, P.J., Cherin, D., Bruce, E., & Arguello, T. (2010). Administrative supervision: A brief guide for managing social service organizations. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
• Pecora, P.J., Whittaker, J.K., Maluccio, A.N.; Barth, R.P. & DePanfilis, D. (2009). The child welfare challenge. (Third Edition.) Piscataway, NJ: Aldine-Transaction Books. (Previous editions published in 1992 and 2000.)
• McCauley, C., Pecora, P.J., & Rose, W.E. (Eds.) (2006). Enhancing the Well Being of Children and Families through Effective Interventions- International Evidence for Practice. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
From 2010 to 2011, he served on the (1) National Advisory Committee for the Child National Traumatic Stress Network; and (2) Committee on the Prevention of Mental Health Disorders and Substance Abuse for the Board on Children, Youth, and Families. (This is a joint board of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. The committee report was issued in the summer of 2009.)

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