Sarah Font

Sarah Font

Assistant Professor of Sociology

505 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-2259

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV


  1. Ph.D. Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  2. Master of Social Work, Western Michigan University
  3. Bachelor of Social work, Western Michigan University


Research Interests

My research focuses on various issues related to child maltreatment and the child welfare system, including the measurement of child maltreatment, the causes and effects of involvement with the child protection and foster care systems, case-level decision-making, and system effectiveness.

Current Research Projects

I have several collaborative projects underway that use statewide administrative data to examine child welfare system processes. For example, one current project aims to isolate the effects of various types of foster care exits (e.g., reunification, adoption, emancipation) on social and economic outcomes in early adulthood. Another project assesses common and alternative approaches to measuring instability in foster care, and identifies how measurement choices affect conclusions about the causes of instability.

Recent Publications

Gershoff, Elizabeth T. and Sarah A. Font. 2016. “Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public Schools: Prevalence, Disparities in Use, and Status in State and Federal Policy.” Social Policy Report, in press.

Font, Sarah A. 2015. “Child Protection Investigations in Out-Of-Home Care: Perpetrators, Victims and Contexts.” Child Maltreatment 20(4), 251-257. doi:10.1177/1077559515597064

Font, Sarah A, and Kathryn Maguire-Jack. 2015. “Decision-Making in Child Protective Services: Influences at Multiple Levels of the Social Ecology.” Child Abuse & Neglect 47(September):70-82. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.005

Font, Sarah A. 2015. “Is Higher Placement Stability in Kinship Care By Virtue or Design?” Child Abuse & Neglect 42(April):99-111. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.01.003

Font, Sarah. A., and Lawrence M. Berger. 2015. “Child Maltreatment and Children’s Developmental Trajectories in Early to Middle Childhood.” Child Development 86(2):536-556. doi:10.1111/cdev.12322

Research Interests:

Child abuse and neglect, child protection and foster care, poverty, family policy

Research Interests:

Families, Relationships, and Interpersonal Networks:

child abuse and maltreatment, foster care, family policy