About CRCW

The Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) is an interdisciplinary center of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Our mission is to stimulate basic research, educate faculty and students, and influence policymakers and practitioners on issues affecting children, youth, and families.  


CRCW supports two major research initiatives: the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and  The Future of Children, a journal for children's policies. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is following a longitudinal birth cohort of nearly 5,000 children born in the U.S. at the end of the 20th century. The study provides new information on the capabilities and relationships of parents, particularly unwed parents, as well as the effects of parental resources and public policies on children’s wellbeing. The Future of Children seeks to provide policymakers, practitioners, advocacy groups, and media with up-to-date information on research and best practices in a variety of areas related to children’s policies. 

In addition, CRCW associates are engaged in a variety of research projects on topics such as at-risk youth, immigrant families and children, education, health, families and households, and poverty and inequality.

Teaching and Training

CRCW associates teach a variety of courses at the undergraduate, M.P.A., and Ph.D. levels on issues affecting children, youth, and families. Associates lead policy workshops and teach topical courses in the Woodrow Wilson School and such academic departments as sociology and economics.

CRCW supports seminars, conferences, and lectures on topics related to children, youth, and families, including the Fragile Families Working Group series; The Future of Children authors' conferences; and joint seminars with the Office of Population Research (OPR), the Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW), and the Department of Sociology. In addition to sponsoring and promoting graduate students' work on topical issues, CRCW supports a Joint Degree Program in Social Policy (JDP), which is a multidisciplinary Ph.D. program aimed at addressing economic insecurity and inequality.

The Center hosts several visiting research scholars and postdoctoral researchers each year.


CRCW engages in several activities to inform policymakers and practitioners about issues related to children, youth, and families, including publishing research briefs with key findings from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and The Future of Children journal, and co-sponsoring practitioner conferences at Princeton University.