Child Welfare Monitor is the blog of Marie K. Cohen (MPA, MSW).

Marie is a child advocate, researcher, and policy analyst. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Harvard University, a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland. After a career as a policy analyst and researcher, Marie obtained her Masters in Social Work in 2009. She worked as social worker in the District of Columbia’s child welfare system for five years.

She left her position as a social worker in January 2015, in despair at how the system seems to have many priorities that are higher than the welfare of children. She decided to start a blog to write about these problems. She continued her active involvement with child welfare as a member of the District of Columbia Citizen Review Panel for child welfare and Child Fatality Review Commission. She is also and a mentor to a foster youth, now in her fifth year as a mentor to a wonderful young lady who is now eighteen years old.

Tragically, Marie and her husband Tom learned of the death of their 25-year-old son from ketoacidosis due to undiagnosed diabetes at the end of September, 2017. While struggling to come to terms with this devastating loss, Marie has vowed not to stop fighting for children who do not receive the love and care with which her son was surrounded, children who may even be killed by the people who are supposed to be caring for them.


Thanks for showing the need to integrate research into CWS reform and look for solutions that strengthen families without ignoring safety.

–Richard P. Barth, Professor and Child Welfare Scholar, University of Maryland School of Social Work

“The Child Welfare Monitor is a comprehensive and unbiased source of child welfare information.  Marie Cohen’s articles are professional, science-based, and non-ideological.  The Monitor has saved us many hours of having to do our own research for our advocacy work.  We have come to rely on it for reliable up-to-date information about what is going on nationally.”

–Rich German, Executive Director, Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota

“Marie Cohen and her Child Welfare Monitor provide helpful resources to anyone working in the child welfare field.  Her personal experience as a social worker in DC, combined with her exceptional research and writing skills, make her an invaluable child welfare expert.  I value her insight and knowledge, and depend on her posts for up-to-date, accurate information on complex and difficult issues.  We all need more people like Marie in this world.  She is dedicated to improve the welfare of children by ensuring child welfare and other child-serving agencies are properly monitored and held accountable.”

–Marla Spindel, Executive Director, DC Kincare Alliance

Marie Cohen is one of the few remaining voices advocating purely for children s rights and pushing back against the current policy swing towards the extremes of the family preservation movement. Her Child Welfare Monitor blog posts are always well-researched and present a compelling voice for child safety, permanence and well-being.

 Kathryn Piper, child protection attorney, advocate and researcher


Marie has been interviewed for a number of webinars and podcasts, including the following:

Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe (American Enterprise Institute), Are You Kidding Me? Protecting Children with Birth Match (or Violating Parent Civil Liberties?)

Interview with Rich Gehrman, Safe Passages for Children of Minnesota. A Special Interview with Author Marie Cohen, March 2, 2022.