Michelle Graef

Michelle Graef
Research Professor (Faculty) 402-472-3741
Personal Information

Michelle and her husband have three young adult children. She particularly enjoys cooking (and eating) Italian specialties and anything that features chocolate as a main ingredient.

  • Northwestern University, BA (Psychology)
  • Iowa State University, MS (Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
  • Iowa State University, PhD (Industrial/Organizational Psychology)

Areas of Interest: 
  • Organizational change and implementation science
  • Human resource management (job analysis, personnel selection, retention, turnover, performance management, supervision)
  • Program and training evaluation
  • CPS case decision-making
  • Community ethnography
CCFL Projects:
Presentations & Publications: 
  • Chambers, J., Lint, S., Thompson, M., Carlson, M., & Graef, M. (2019). Outcomes of the Iowa Parent Partner Program evaluation: Stability of reunification and re-entry into foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 104, 104353.
  • Graef, M., Paul, M., Parry, C., Barbee, A., & Thompson, M. (2019, August). Conducting comprehensive workforce needs assessments in child welfare. Workshop at the Child Welfare Evaluation Summit, Washington, D.C.
  • Paul, M. E., Weddington, S. A., Parry, C. F., & Graef, M. I. (2019, May). Using job analysis to inform the development and evaluation of workforce interventions. Workshop at the Twenty-second Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium, Baltimore, MD.
  • Armstrong, M. I., McCrae, J. S., Graef, M. I., Richards, T., Lambert, D., Bright, C. L., & Sowell, C. (2014). Development and initial findings of an implementation process measure for child welfare system change. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 8, 94-117.
  • Parry, C., & Graef, M. (2013, May). Measuring impact with a single case design: Evaluating training on the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. Pre-conference workshop at the Sixteenth Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Porter, L. L., Park-Zink, P., Gebhardt, A. R., Ells, M., & Graef, M. I. (2012). Best outcomes for Indian children. Child Welfare, 91(3), 135-156.
  • Graef, M., & Gilbert, K. (2012, May). Organizational culture and climate in Ohio’s Office of Families and Children. Invited presentation as part of National Child Welfare Resource Center on Organizational Improvement’s national webinar “Assessing and improving organizational culture and climate.”
  • Paul, M., Graef, M., & Saathoff, K. (2012, May). Developing behavior-based rating scales for performance assessments. Skill-building workshop at the Fifteenth Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium, Berkeley, CA.
  • Graef, M., Gilbert, K., Yoder, C., & Thomas, D. (2012, April). Back to the future: Strategies for sustained innovation in a state-supervised, county- administered system.Presentation at the Eighteenth National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Washington, D.C.
  • McCrae, J., Graef, M., Armstrong, M., & DePanfilis, D. (2011, August). Developing a shared process measure for implementation projects in child welfare. Presentation at the Second National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit, Washington, D.C.
  • Graef, M. & Leake, R. (2011, June). Re-examining the role of professional development and training evaluation through an implementation science lens. Presentation at the Fourteenth Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Graef, M. I., Paul, M. E., & Myers, T. L. (2009). Recruiting and selecting child welfare staff. In Alwon, F., Steib, S., & Schmitt, B. (Eds.), On the Job in Child Welfare: Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting a Competent Workforce. Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America.
  • Paul, M. E., Graef, M. I., Robinson, E. J., & Saathoff, K. I. (2009). Managing performance. In Potter, C., & Brittain, C. (Eds.), Supervision in Child Welfare. New York: Oxford.
  • Goodvin, R., Johnson, D.R., Hardy, S.A., Graef, M.I., & Chambers, J.M. (2007). Development and confirmatory factor analysis of the Community Norms of Child Neglect Scale. Child Maltreatment, 12(1) , 68-85.
  • Graef, M. & Potter, M. (2007). Evaluating trainees' testifying behaviors. Training and Development in Human Services, 4, 161- 167.
  • Paul, M. & Graef, M. (2007). Strengthening child welfare supervision as a key practice change strategy. Curriculum developed for the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement, for use nationally as part of their training and technical assistance package for state child welfare agencies.
  • Graef, M. (2005, January). Discovering the best person for the job: Using structured hiring interviews. Invited presentation at the Western Regional Recruitment and Retention Project Institute, Denver, CO.
  • Graef, M., Potter, M., Wilson, L., & Caplan, P. (2004, November). Planning an organization's future: Creating systems to build leadership capacity. Workshop presentation at the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the National Staff Development and Training Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Graef, M., & Potter, M. (2004, June). Factors related to turnover and retention of child welfare staff: Research-based implications for practice. Invited presentation at the ACYF Children's Bureau Biennial Child Welfare Conference: Focus on Evidence-Based Practice, Washington, D.C.
  • Potter, M., & Graef, M. (2003, September). Building a solid foundation for successful hiring, training, and performance management. Workshop presentation at the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the National Staff Development and Training Association, Anaheim, CA.
  • Graef, M. (2002, November). Developing and implementing a realistic job preview. Workshop presentation at the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the National Staff Development and Training Association, Nashville, TN.
  • Graef, M. I., Rohde, T. L., & Potter, M. E. (2002). An intake in-basket test for child protective services trainees. Training and Development in Human Services, 2, 56-60.
  • Graef, M. I., & Potter, M. E. (2002). Alternative solutions to the child protective services staffing crisis: Innovations from industrial/organizational psychologyProtecting Children, 17(3), 18- 31. (This article is reprinted with permission from American Humane Association,
  • Graef, M. I., & Hill, E. (2000). Costing child protective services staff turnover. Child Welfare, 79 (5), 517-533. "Reprinted with permission from the Child Welfare League of America