Office location: 2064
Phone number: 217-244-5222
Dr. Wu received her master’s degree in social work from National Taiwan University in 1993 and her PhD in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. She worked as a policy planner and evaluator at Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission, Executive Yuan or Cabinet in Taiwan after she received her master’s degree. She joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 2005 after working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Wu’s research on welfare reform has drawn the attention of policy analysts in Wisconsin, where she conducted her dissertation research, and nationally. Her dissertation research is a groundbreaking study that has examined the dynamic patterns of sanctioning, the patterns of benefits following a sanction and characteristics of those sanctioned participants, and effects of sanctions on employment, level of earnings, and welfare exits. She also investigated whether the effects of sanctions vary according to the severity, timing, and duration of sanctions. Finally, her dissertation research addressed sample selection bias issues using an instrumental variable estimate strategy to identify effects of welfare sanctions. Her study has potentially important implications for social work and public welfare policy.
Research and Practice Interests
Poverty, social welfare policy, impact of welfare reform on low-income families, welfare sanctions, welfare participation dynamics, access to benefits and support services for low-income families, evaluation research, and program evaluation.
Access to Public Benefits and Private Sources of Assistance for Low-Income Families
Dr. Wu is examining patterns of welfare application and use of public and private sources of assistance, and the factors associated with welfare access and use of public and private assistance. She is documenting the reasons low-income individuals do not inquire about or apply for assistance programs and are denied in the application process. Finally, she is investigating the impact of access to benefits and support services on low-income families’ well-being and examining how non-enrolling eligible low-income families fare relative to welfare participants.
Improving Access to Benefits and Services for Low-Income Families Through Policy Knowledge Training Programs
This project is focused on providing training and curriculum for assisting low-income individuals to improve their knowledge and skills to access a variety of public and private benefits. The specific goals of the policy knowledge training programs are to (1) increase their awareness of available public assistance programs and other community resources, (2) improve their knowledge of and social skills to access public assistance and community programs, (3) increase their understanding of their legal rights when denied government benefits, and (4) ultimately increase their financial well-being and civic engagement.
Long-Term Employment and Earnings of Welfare Participants
Dr. Wu is examining longitudinal patterns of employment and earnings of welfare recipients over a six-year period. She is developing an approach to categorizing participants’ employment and earnings trajectories, which will allow a better understanding of the diversity of pathways. She is also considering differential patterns of medium-term and long-term employment and earnings success so she can then compare the factors associated with medium-term and long-term success.
Wu, C., & Eamon, M. K. (in press). Patterns and correlates of involuntary unemployment and underemployment in single-mother families. Children and Youth Services Review.
Wu, C. (in press). Long-term employment and earnings among low-income families with children. Children and Youth Services Review.
Eamon, M. K., & Wu, C. (in press). Effects of unemployment and underemployment on material hardship in single-mother families. Children and Youth Services Review.
Wu, C., & Eamon, M. K. (2010a). Need for and barriers to accessing public benefits among low-income families with children. Children and Youth Service Review, 32, 58-66.
Wu, C., & Eamon, M. K. (2010b). Does receipt of public benefits reduce material hardship in low-income families with children? Children and Youth Service Review, 32, 1262-1270.
Eamon, M. K., Wu, C., Zhang, S. (2009). Effectiveness and limitations of the Earned Income Tax Credit for reducing child poverty in the United States. Children and Youth Service Review, 31, 919-926.
Wu, C., Cancian, M., & Meyer, D. R. (2008). Standing still or moving up? Evidence from Wisconsin on the long-term employment and earnings of TANF participants. Social Work Research, 32, 89-103.
Wu, C. (2008). Severity, timing, and duration of welfare sanctions and the economic well-being of TANF families with children. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 26-44.
Wu, C., & Eamon, M. K. (2007). Public and private sources of assistance for low-income households. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 34, 121-149.
Wu, C., Cancian, M., Meyer, D. R., & Wallace, G. L. (2006). How do welfare sanctions work? Social Work Research, 30, 33-50.
Cancian, M., Meyer, D. R., & Wu, C. (2005). After the revolution: Welfare patterns since TANF implementation. Social Work Research, 29, 199-214.
Wu, C. (accepted). Effects of the economic downturn on child support orders and payments. Oral Presentation, the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research, Tampa, FL.
Wu, C., Eamon, M. K. (accepted). Patterns and correlates of involuntary unemployment and underemployment among single-mother families. Oral Presentation, the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research, Tampa, FL.
Eamon, M. K., & Wu, C. (accepted). Effects of unemployment and underemployment on material hardship. Oral Presentation, the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research, Tampa, FL.
Wu, C. (2010). Patterns and correlates of involuntary unemployment and underemployment in single-mother families. International Conference of Vulnerable Families and Children: Global Perspectives on Social Welfare with a Focus on China, Taiwan, and the United States. National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Wu, C., & Eamon, M. K. (2008). Public and private sources of assistance for low-income households. Oral Presentation, the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC.