Light Lab

Enrich your perspective on family well-being and demystify conversations on child welfare topics.

Child and family well-being dymistified

Enter the Light Lab, an online hub for unraveling child welfare topics and igniting conversations on family well-being. Navigate our user-friendly resources designed to simplify complex topics and promote informed discussions. Join us in illuminating paths to a brighter future for families.



Demystify family well-beingexplore research and personal stories for a broader perspective. Explore complex topics, discover insights and innovation, and drive change.

Resource Link


A knowledge hub with insights and tools that equip you with resources needed to drive positive transformations in the realm of family well-being and child welfare.

Contribute to the Conversation

Participate in Light Lab polls and surveys. Share your suggestions for the next topic and suggestions for compelling stories we should feature and innovative research.

Light Papers

Your guide to child welfare topics

Light Papers are designed for a diverse readershipspanning child welfare professionals, policymakers, advocates, educators, and anyone with a passion for family well-being. These papers represent a unique fusion of storytelling, research, and actionable insights.

Each Light Paper is a comprehensive guide to a child welfare topic that profoundly influences family well-being. It begins with a family perspective, bridging the gap between lived experiences and high-level issues. In addition, Light Papers offer critical contextual information and practical next step takeaways

Explore Light Papers in the Light Lab to inform your meaningful conversations in the realm of family well-being. Share your ideas on future Light Paper topics.

Light Lab Community Poll

[gravityform id="18" title="false" description="false"]

Pick the next light paper topic

Share your suggestions on future Light Paper topics in the form below.

[gravityform id="17" title="false" description="false"]

Light Paper Library

Lightbulb Moment: The Time is Now to Re-Evaluate Mandated Reporting Procedures

Delve into the complexities of mandated reporting in our article. We focus on CAPTA to explore the idea of how policies may inadvertently harm families, offering insights
into alternative approaches like ‘mandatory supporter.’ We advocate for evidence-based strategies to enhance child welfare, inviting collaboration towards impactful change.

read more

Light Paper: Addiction

Dive into the complexities of addiction, challenging stigmas and shedding light on racial disparities. This exploration reveals alarming statistics on substance use disorders, emphasizing the urgency for evidence-based interventions. Personal stories underscore the importance of empathy, fostering a shift towards preventive solutions. Discover resources and support for those navigating the challenges of addiction in North Carolina.

read more

Lightbulb Moment: Benefits of Budgeting for Families

In recent years, amid the reality of many US Americans living paycheck to paycheck, managing financial control through budgeting and financial literacy has been a priority. Budgeting involves tracking monthly income and expenditures i.e. rent, mortgage, utilities, and car payments. Whether through an app, spreadsheet, or notebook, budgeting raises awareness of spending habits and reveals opportunities for improved money management. Though finances can be overwhelming, budgeting can provide families with a sense of control and financial empowerment.

read more

Light Paper: Poverty Versus Neglect In North Carolina

This Light Paper issue reviews neglect criteria. See the impact of prioritizing family support over separation. This issue reviews differences in monitoring and reporting in child welfare. Explore practical steps that promote fairness and kindness while protecting children from harm and helping families.

read more

Resource Link Library


Places in Need: The Changing Georgraphy of Poverty by Scott W. Allard

Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty by Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott