Dr. Freisthler is a professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University.  She runs a research program focusing on innovative approaches to study child abuse and neglect, including the study of drinking and drug use contexts related to the use of physical abuse and neglect, use of geographic information systems and spatial analysis to understand the spatial dimension of abuse and neglect, and the use of technology to improve the resource and referral process in the child welfare system.  As part of this work she is currently evaluating the Ohio Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (Ohio START) program designed to reduce substance use behaviors among families involved in the child welfare system in 18 Ohio counties.


She is an expert in the application of population-based geospatial research methods in understanding alcohol and drug-related problems (e.g., crime, child abuse and neglect) related to the availability of substances through drug various distribution systems. She has extensive experience studying how changes in alcohol outlet densities affect various social problems and is currently examining how activity spaces and use of alcohol outlets are related to maladaptive parenting.


She currently directs studies examining how the regulatory environment for medical marijuana is related to problems such as crime, marijuana use, and abuse/dependence, how drinking locations and contexts, particularly related to the substance use environment, affects substance use and parenting behaviors, such as child maltreatment, and how web-based technology to create a more streamlined process for determining which agencies have openings available to serve clients and matching client referrals with service providers in order to reduce length of stay for children in foster care and increase reunification rates.





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American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children  |  APSAC Center for Child Policy  |  2017