Skip to Content

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
Yanfeng, Xu

Research Expertise

  • Child welfare services and policies

  • Foster care and kinship care

  • Child abuse and neglect

  • Child mental/behavioral health


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. Xu is also an affiliate faculty associate for the Research Consortium on Children and Families and Walker Institute of International and Area Studies. 

Xu’s research is focused on the well-being of children and their caregivers in kinship care and non-kinship foster care. She has led several projects that examined multiple challenges in kinship care and their associations with kinship caregivers’ parenting practices and kinship children’s educational and behavioral health outcomes. Currently, Xu is principal investigator for a community-based project that investigates racial and ethnic disparities in grandparents raising grandchildren in South Carolina. 

Xu is also principal investigator for a project that aims to understand foster children’s behavioral health services utilization and its associations with their well-being and permanency outcomes using South Carolina linked administrative data. She is interested in international child protection, particularly child welfare policies and services in China. 

Xu has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and book reviews (18 as a first author) and made more than 45 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. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.