What’s your latest research?
I have been studying various aspects of the lives of children in care and developed information systems to help monitor the safety and well-being of children in care. In the last two decades our team has been studying issues surrounding care leavers in Israel. Some of our previous work could be seen in the list of references below. Currently, our team has undertaken a major project that follows 15 cohorts of care leavers of the youth villages (educational residential care) in Israel. The study is based on integrating a wide range of administrative data bases, covering all Israeli children in 15 consecutive cohorts. We have used Propensity Score Matching to match the care leavers (about 35,000) with similar youth out of the whole population (about 1,600,000). The data covers demographics, parental background information before the youth entered the youth village, and youth outcomes such as education, criminal involvement, employment, welfare dependency, and economic status. We expect to have final report next fall.
What about your scholarship in child welfare and child protection?
I have conducted multiple studies on issues relevant to decision making in child welfare and child protection. In recent years our team developed the Judgment and Decision Making Process in Context (JUDPiC) that presents decision processes within the local context. Based on this model, we have initiated a series of comparative studies in several countries, all using the same vignettes and instruments, so that comparisons could be made across country contexts. We continue to collaborate internationally to advance research on decision making in child welfare and protection. We are still initiating additional studies in multiple countries around the world. Currently, we are preparing the final draft of an edited book of a compendium of papers on decision making in child welfare from several countries, to be published by Oxford.
How about your research on violence and bullying? You have a new book out.
Ron Avi Astor and I have been collaborating for more than two decades in studying school climate, violence and bullying. We have developed a theoretical model that guides our thinking and methodology. We have also developed a methodological framework, monitoring and mapping, that underlies much of our empirical work and our interventions with schools across the globe. We have a strong interest in how multiple contexts in which schools are nested interact with internal contexts of the school (e.g., organization and climate) to impact vulnerable groups of students (e.g., foster youth, homeless, military students) and the school as a whole. We are studying a range of issues, such as weapons in schools, suicidal ideation, and academic achievements. Due to our special interest in how contexts impact schools we have been engaged in several international collaborations in countries such as Israel, France, the US, Chile, China, Kosovo, and Cameroon. In all these collaborations we are studying how different cultural contexts impact school climate, safety and victimization. Further, we are employing our monitoring to help promote school improvement in countries around the world. We are now in the initial stages of implementing our monitoring methodology in schools in China.
We have published extensively on our work. Recently we have published three books that present different aspects of our work.
Dr. Benbenishty is a recently inducted member of the Class of 2019.