Nancy Rolock, PhD

Associate Professor
Social Work

Nancy Rolock is an associate professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she has been on the faculty since 2013. She has conducted child welfare research since 1996. Dr. Rolock is committed to using intervention research and implementation science to build evidence-informed services and supports for children and families involved in the child welfare system.

Dr. Rolock is currently co-principal investigator for the five-year, federally funded ($23,400,000 through the Administration for Children and Families, HHS) National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation. Using a framework that amalgamates intervention research and implementation science, this project is working in conjunction with eight jurisdictions across the country to implement and evaluate interventions. Each jurisdiction is testing a different intervention. In some jurisdictions, interventions are being developed, in others they are being adapted and tested. The target populations served in this project include families who have adopted or taken guardianship of children previously in foster care, and parents planning to adopt or become legal guardians.

Dr. Rolock is also currently co-principal investigator for a recently awarded three-year, federally funded project ($3,168,642 through the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, HHS) Understanding Post Adoption and Guardianship Instability for Children and Youth Who Exit Foster Care. Through her collaboration with Research Triangle Institute International on this project, Dr. Rolock will conduct a rigorous exploration of family experiences and outcomes post legal finalization of adoption or guardianship. Study designs will include a mixed methods approach that will involve interviews with family members who have adopted or assumed guardianship of children through the foster care system; administrative data mining to estimate the incidence and prevalence of post adoption and guardianship instability; and surveys of young adults who have experienced adoption or guardianship.

Education:

  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013
  • A.M., School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, 1991
  • B.A., General Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1989

Professional Interests:

  • The achievement of legal permanence for children in foster care
  • Examining the experiences of children and families after adoption or guardianship
  • Foster care stability
  • Racial disparities
  • Intervention research and science

Research Projects and Grants:

  • 2017-2020: Principal Investigator (2018-2020); Co-Principal Investigator (2017-2018): Understanding Post Adoption and Guardianship Instability for Children and Youth Who Exit Foster Care. Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Amount: $3,168,642; UWM portion $616,860.
  • 2015-2016: Co-Principal Investigator: Jockey Backpack Program for Adopted Children. Funded through the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families. Amount: $25,000.
  • 2014-2019: Co-Principal Investigator: National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation. Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, HHS-2014-ACF-ACYF-CO-0797. Amount: $25,000,000; UWM portion $1,800,000.
  • 2014-2016: Co-Principal Investigator: Intensive Child-Focused Adoptive Parent Recruitment. Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, HHS-2014-ACF-ACYF-CO-0828. Amount: $500,000; UWM portion $110,000.
  • 2013-2018: Co-Investigator (with Mark F. Testa): Illinois Birth through Three (IB3) IV-E Waiver Demonstration. Subaward from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Amount: $240,000.
  • 2013-2015: Principal Investigator: UWM-IL DCFS Child Welfare Data and Research Program. Funded through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Amount: $109,000.
  • 2012-2013: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: Sonya J. Leathers): Child Welfare Research Collaborative. Funded through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Amount: $164,000.
  • 2011-2013: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: Sonya J. Leathers): Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) grant. Funded through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Amount: $446,000.
  • 2012-2013: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: Alan J. Dettlaff): Permanency Enhancement Project. Funded through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Amount: $54,000.
  • 2009-2011: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: James P. Gleeson): Child welfare stability, permanence & continuity research, monitoring and DCFS consultation project. Funded through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services through the Children and Family Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Amount: $340,000.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships:

  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Illinois IV-E Waiver Executive Committee, 2012 to present
  • Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Steering Committee, Data Analytic Workgroup and Intervention Design Team, 2011 to 2013
  • DCFS/FCAN Roundtable Sibling Rights Policy and Legislative Reform Committee, 2011 to 2012
  • Content Expert, DCFS Learning Collaborative on Stability for Children in Foster Care, 2011
  • Illinois Kids Count Advisory Committee, Voices for Illinois Children, 2007 to 2010

Book Chapters:

  • Rolock, N., & Testa, M. F. (2005). Indicated child abuse and neglect reports: Is the investigation process racially biased? In D. Derezotes et al. (Eds.) Race matters in child welfare. The overrepresentation of African American children in the system (pp.119-130). Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Select Publications:

  • White, K. R., Testa, M. F., Rolock, N. (revise and resubmit). Evaluation of the Illinois Adoption Preservation and Linkages (APAL) Program Using a Regression Discontinuity Design. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.
  • Rolock, N., Ocasio, K., Webb, J., Fleary-Simmons, D., Cohen, L. & Fong, R. (accepted). Implementation science and prevention in action: Application in a post-permanency world. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work. doi: 10.1080/23761407.2018.1517068
  • Rolock, N., White, K. R., Ocasio, K., *Zhang, L., MacKenzie, M. J., & Fong, R. (2018). A comparison of post-adoption placement stability for former foster youth in two large U.S. states. Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731518783857
  • Palacios, J., Rolock, N., Selwyn, J., & Barbosa-Ducharne, M. A. (2018). Adoption breakdown: Concept, research and implications. Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731518783852
  • Rolock, N., *Wahl, M., Blakey, J. & *Roehl Devine, A. (2018). The evolution of challenges for adoptive youth and adopted parents: The impact of age as a framework for differentiation. Journal of Adolescent and Family Health, 9 (1).
  • Rolock, N. & White, K. R. (2017). Continuity for children after guardianship versus adoption with kin: Approximating the right counterfactual. Child Abuse and Neglect, 72, 32-44.
  • Rolock, N., Pérez, A. G., White, K. R. & Fong, R. (2017). From foster care to adoption and guardianship: A 21st century challenge. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal. doi:10.1007/s10560-017-0499-z
  • Rolock, N. & White, K. R. (2016). Post-permanency discontinuity: A longitudinal examination of outcomes for foster youth after adoption or guardianship. Children and Youth Services Review, 70, 419-427. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.10.025
  • Rolock, N. & Pérez, A. G. (2016). Three sides to a foster care story: An examination of the lived experiences of young adults, their foster care case record, and the space in between. Qualitative Social Work. doi:10.1177/1473325016666410
  • Rolock, N. (2015). Post-permanency continuity: What happens after adoption and guardianship from foster care? Journal of Public Child Welfare, 9:2, 153-173, doi:10.1080/15548732.2015.1021986
  • Rolock, N., Snyder, S., & Tate, C. (2015). Formative evaluation: A case study of the Illinois birth-to-three IV-E Waiver. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 31, 1-12, doi:10.1080/15433714.2014.899172
  • Rolock, N., Jantz, I., Abner, K. (2015). Community perceptions and foster care placement: A multi-level analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 48, 186-191. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.12.011
  • Testa, M. F., Snyder, S., Wu, Q., Rolock, N. & Liao, M. (2014). Adoption and guardianship: A moderated mediation analysis of predictors of post-permanency continuity. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 107-118. doi:10.1037/ort0000019
  • Koh, E., Rolock, N., Cross, T. P. & Eblen Manning, J. (2013). What explains instability in foster care? Comparison of a matched sample of children with stable and unstable placements. Children and Youth Services Review, 37, 36-45. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.12.007
  • Cross, T. P., Koh, E., Rolock, N. & Eblen Manning, J. (2013). Why do children experience multiple placement changes in foster care? A content analysis on reasons for instability.  Journal of Public Child Welfare,7 (1), 39-58. doi:10.1080/15548732.2013.751300
  • Jantz, I., Rolock, N., Leathers, S. J., Dettlaff, A. J. & Gleeson, J. P. (2012). Foster care entry: The relationship between county structure, individual characteristics, and the decision to place children in foster care. Child Abuse and Neglect, 36 (11-12), 771-781. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.08.002
  • Leathers, S. J., Spielfogel, J. E., Gleeson, J. P. & Rolock, N. (2012). Behavior problems, foster home integration, and evidence-based behavioral interventions: What predicts adoption of foster children? Children and Youth Services Review, 34 (5), 891-899. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.017.
  • Rolock, N. (2011). New methodology: Measuring racial or ethnic disparities in child welfare.  Children and Youth Services Review, 33 (9), 1531-1537. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.03.017.

Curriculum Vitae