An internationally recognized child welfare researcher and advocate for system-impacted children and families, Dr. Merritt’s research interests include child maltreatment prevention; maltreatment type definitional issues; neighborhood structural impact on maltreatment; and the lived experiences of those served by public child welfare systems, particularly Black and Latinx families. She stresses the importance of bringing the voices of parents under the supervision of child welfare services into the literature, service planning, treatment design, and policy initiatives. Among other studies, she is currently Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R21 study of parental perspectives on child neglect to identify modifiable determinants and inform effective prevention. She also has extensive experience as a practitioner in the private and public child welfare systems.
Dr. Merritt is widely published in high-impact journals and, in addition to her new appointment at Social Services Review, serves as a Co-Editor-in-Chief for Children and Youth Services Review and a member of the editorial board for Child Maltreatment. She also serves on the boards of the Society for Social Work and Research and Child Welfare League of America, and, for the past eight years, has been actively involved with APSAC, participating in webinars and workshops, serving on its Child Maltreatment Prevention Committee, and lead authoring the chapter “Effective Program Models for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment” in the APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, Fourth Edition.
APSAC, now in partnership with The New York Foundling, was founded in 1986 and is a nonprofit, national organization focused on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. Especially important to APSAC is the dissemination of state-of-the-art practice in all professional disciplines related to child abuse and neglect.
Founded in 1927, Social Service Review is devoted to the publication of thought-provoking, original research on pressing social issues and promising social work practices and social welfare policies. Articles in SSR analyze issues from the vantage points of a broad spectrum of disciplines, theories, and methodological traditions, at the individual, family, community, organizational, and societal levels.