Karin Malm

Senior Research Scholar

Karin Malm headshot

Research Focus

Areas of Expertise

Applied Research, Focus Groups, Literature Review, Multivariate Analysis, Policy Analysis, Process and Outcome Evaluation, Program Evaluation, Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Education & certification

M.S., Family Studies, University of Maryland

Karin Malm

Senior Research Scholar, Chapel Hill, NC

Karin Malm is a widely published expert on the full breadth of child welfare programs and policy. She has 25 years of experience conducting research and evaluations on issues including adoption and kinship care, foster care, family preservation and support, child protective services, and nonresident father support and engagement. Beyond her many reports and briefs, she was one of the primary authors of the 2003 book Kinship Care: Making the Most of a Valuable Resource. 

Ms. Malm serves as a senior advisor on Child Trends’ evaluation partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family Well-Being Strategy Group that includes the foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a large-scale effort to help young people successfully transition from foster care. She also advises the research team that partners with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to evaluate their Foster Youth Initiative, and the team that is working with Generations United to evaluate the success of the federally funded Grandfamilies and Kinship Support Network. She served as Principal Investigator on the earliest large-scale, comprehensive evaluation of adoption recruitment (the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Initiative of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption) and directed rigorous evaluations of intensive relative search and engagement interventions (Family Finding). 

Ms. Malm was the author of a groundbreaking report, “What About the Dads? Child Welfare Agencies’ Efforts to Identify, Locate and Involve Nonresident Fathers,” published in 2006. The report prompted funding for a federal Administration for Children and Families Quality Improvement Center on Non-resident Fathers and Child Welfare. She was also the principal investigator for federal contracts involving the development of two national surveys: the National Survey of Adoptive Parents and the National Survey of Children in Non-parental Care. 

External published papers and journal articles