Dr. Cara Kelly received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in Sociology and Family Studies, and a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Arizona State University. During her MSW program Dr. Kelly was involved in the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Project and received a graduate specialization in public child welfare. Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. from ASU with research interests in child maltreatment prevention and intervention, child welfare risk and safety assessments, child well-being, and outcome measurements for child and family services. Dr. Kelly currently studies risk assessment across child welfare domains, with a specific focus on the application of epidemiological methods to improve the surveillance of child abuse and neglect.
Dr. Kelly is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), whose social work practice includes over 15 years as a practitioner in child welfare services including foster parent licensing and training, family preservation, child abuse and neglect investigations, and hospital pediatric social work. Currently, Dr. Kelly works for the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect at the Children's Bureau in Washington, DC.
Despite living in Washington, D.C., Dr. Kelly maintains her Arizona roots through community child welfare efforts such including child maltreatment research at Phoenix Children's Hospital, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Consortium, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and the Infant and Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona (ITMHCA).