Making expertise accessible across Montana 

The Center is a multidisciplinary team of professors, researchers, policy advocates, child welfare specialists, health care professionals, and students, representing a breadth and depth of professional experience in working with children, families, and the issues that impact their lives. Our team’s combination of statewide presence, entrepreneurial spirit, and technological know-how means the Center can take a unique and dynamic approach to addressing the needs of Montana’s children and families.


In the spring of 2015, the University of Montana launched the Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development to help improve the lives of children and youth and the parents, caregivers, and professionals responsible for their care, treatment, and education.


The mission of the Center is simple: to improve the lives of children, youth, and families in Montana, with a special focus on families involved with the child welfare system. Our vision is a Montana with thriving children, youth, and families who have benefited from the work of the Center and our partners.  The Center accomplishes this through our three priority areas: workforce development, research and data, and policy.

Group shot of some center employees

Goals and vision

The Center works at multiple levels to accomplish our goals:

  • Offer engaging and effective resources and training for parents and families
  • Respond to current statewide workforce needs by developing and delivering innovative targeted professional development.
  • Advance best practice and innovation in the programs that serve children and families
  • Strengthen connection and collaboration among systems that serve children and families
  • Develop public policy that supports the wellbeing of families and their children
  • Serve as a state research hub that disseminates easy to understand, current scientific knowledge.
  • Offer tailored support to groups, nonprofits, and government agencies in creation of evaluation, data analysis, research dissemination, and/or implementing data-driven programming.