Clark M. Peters

Clark Peters


Associate Professor

Research at a glance

Research Topics

Research Summary

Dr. Peters' research focuses on helping vulnerable youth transition successfully to adulthood.


  • PhD, University of Chicago, 2010
  • MSW, University of Chicago, 2005
  • JD, Cornell Law School, 1992
  • BA, University of Chicago, 1988

Research interests

Child Welfare Services and Organization; Foster Care; Financial Literacy and Capability; Adolescent Transition to Adulthood; Engagement of Youth in Civil Society; Juvenile Justice; Juvenile Courts; Juvenile Probation; History of Social Work; Alternatives to Detention; Role of Theory in Social Work; Advocacy and Collaboration with Other Professionals; Restorative Justice; Macro Social Work; Policy Research; Community-Engaged Research.

Teaching interests

Child Welfare; Juvenile Justice, and Services for Adolescents; History of Social Work; Mixed Methodology; Interdisciplinary Teaching Involving Law and Other Professional Schools and Disciplines; Applied Advocacy Practices Integrated into the Classroom.


2015 Outstanding Faculty Award from the School of Social Work’s Alumni Association

Research and scholarly activity

Helping Vulnerable Youth Transition Successfully to Adulthood

Dr. Peters’ work focuses on helping vulnerable young people transition to adulthood domestically and internationally. His research examines child welfare services, judicial oversight and strategies to increase wellbeing for young people in state care. His work has led him to Australia and Vietnam, involving undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to examine these critical issues.

Working closely with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Dr. Peters has examined ways to increase financial and tangible assets for youth aging out of foster care – leading to a partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the state of Missouri to integrate financial capability into child welfare casework. Currently, Dr. Peters is engaged in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to develop an intervention addressing the needs of young people in schools to reduce violence. The work involves close community collaboration and an emphasis on building a national “Culture of Health.”

Dr. Peters teaches courses in policy, social justice and law and has developed a writing seminar challenging students to deepen their understanding of disadvantaged populations by examining their experiences through professional literature and personal stories. In 2015, Dr. Peters was honored with an Outstanding Faculty Award from the School of Social Work’s Alumni Association.

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