Center for Child & Family Well-Being

About the Center

Families and the people who serve them often have difficulty accessing research information and using it to improve practices and policies. At the same time, the quality and relevance of research are significantly enhanced when it is informed by families and those who work with them. The Center acts as a vehicle through which the University is able to create and share knowledge as well as capitalize on expertise found outside the University to promote healthy human development and family life.

The Center provides research opportunities for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students in departments across the UW-Madison campus in cooperation with researchers and policymakers in state and federal government, foundations, and community-based nonprofit organizations. Undergraduate collaborations with community-based organizations include opportunities to provide counseling and education in local communities, as well as independent studies and internships.


The Center for Child and Family Well-Being seeks to respond to critical issues faced by family members and those who serve them. Specific goals include:

  1. Being a multidisciplinary leader in family studies and programs with a focus on the well-being and development of individuals and families in Wisconsin and the world
  2. Conducting high quality applied research that furthers the understanding of family issues
  3. Providing a platform for the dissemination and integration of best practices through outreach to practitioners and policymakers
  4. Training the next generation of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers on issues related to individual and family well-being
  5. Coordinating use of the Frances and Elliot Lehman Family Research Center

Center Leadership Team


Larissa Duncan, Faculty Director

A photo of Janean Dilwort-Bart

Janean Dilworth-Bart, Prenatal to Five Chair

Heather Kirkorian

Heather Kirkorian, Child Development Lab Faculty Director

Amy Lee Wagner

Amy Wagner, Child Development Lab Executive Director

Picture of Kristin Litzelman

Kristin Litzelman, Core Research Faculty & UW-Extension Integrated Specialist Representative

Graduate student Mariela Quesada Centeno

Mariela Quesada Centeno, Graduate Student & Community-Based Organization Representative

Check out our YouTube page for videos from the Families and Well-Being Seminar Series and Conference for Contemplative Practices to Promote Child and Family Well-Being!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the Center!

For general inquiries, please email us at

Phone: (608) 890-3259

Center for Child and Family Well-Being
4264 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706