Social Scientist, Professor, Child Welfare Scholar
Dr. Darcey Merritt is an Associate Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, and a faculty fellow for the school’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Her research focuses on families involved with the public child welfare system, with particular attention to the perspectives of children and parents; distinguishing between specific types of maltreatment in an effort to highlight appropriate needed resources and services; and the impact of client perceived experiences on socio-developmental and behavioral outcomes. Her work contributes to developing a more refined understanding of the characteristics of abusive and neglectful parents, the neighborhood structural impact on parenting, and parental and child well being outcomes for child welfare involved families. She has extensive experience as a practitioner in the private and public child welfare systems, specializing in child and family assessments for appropriate foster and adoptive placements. Dr. Merritt received a BA degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, with a concentration in psychology and sociology. She received both her MSW (2003) and PhD (2006) in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Affairs Department of Social Welfare. Her dissertation was awarded an honorable mention for the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Society for Social Work Research in 2007. Her published work primarily focuses on the salient differences between correlates of each type of child neglect; children and families in their environmental and neighborhood context; how specific types of child neglect and their correlates impact well being; parental perceptions of appropriate parenting, challenges to effective parenting and well being; and children’s preferences and expectations for permanency, while living in temporary care and the relationship between parental potential to abuse and child abuse rates in communities.