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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Yanfeng Xu, Ph.D., MSW

Title: Assistant Professor
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-2215
Office: Hamilton 117
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Research gate
Yanfeng, Xu

Research Expertise:

  • Foster care and kinship care 
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child mental/behavioral health
  • Grandparents raising grandchildren 

Teaching Expertise:

  • Research methods  
  • Program evaluation
  • Human behaviors and the social environment
  • Child welfare policy and service 


Assistant Professor Yanfeng Xu joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 2019 after earning her Ph.D. in social work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Dr. Xu is also an affiliate faculty associate for the Research Consortium on Children and Families and Walker Institute of International and Area Studies.  

Dr. Xu’s research aims to improve the well-being of children and their caregivers in kinship care and non-kinship foster care. She has led several projects that examined resilience and challenges in kinship care and their associations with kinship caregivers’ parenting practices and educational and behavioral health outcomes of children in kinship care. In addition, she has led a project that seeks to understand foster children’s utilization of behavioral/mental health services, intending to reduce racial/ethnic disparities among children in foster care.  

Xu has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and book reviews (24 as a first author) and made more than 50 presentations at national and international conferences. Her work has been featured in top-tier journals, such as Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Maltreatment, and Children and Youth Services Review.  


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