Potraite profile Michael Hoffmeister.

INVEST visitor: Michael Hoffmeister

In the “INVEST visitors” series, we present visiting professors and fellows who have arrived at the flagship INVEST. This time we are introducing PhD Candidate Michael Hoffmeister.

My name is Michael Hoffmeister. I am a PhD Candidate in the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work and a Graduate Research Fellow with the Institute for Research on Poverty, both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Overall, my research seeks to support child and family well-being with consistent, quality, and equitable supports in human services systems.

My research interests are informed by my experience as a Social Worker. Following completion of my Masters in Social Work and prior to returning to complete my doctoral degree, I worked in the child welfare field, both at the direct-service level and in policy development, implementation, and evaluation for the State of Wisconsin. I supported families involved with child protective services and monitored programs and policies for children placed in foster care.


I was interested in visiting INVEST to initiate comparative research regarding the child welfare systems in the United States and Finland. The data available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and that through INVEST provide us with the capacity to consider policy and programmatic differences between the United States and Finland, and compare how those differences translate to child and family outcomes within each jurisdiction.


I hope to learn more about the social welfare systems in Finland, and the ways that children and families are supported throughout childhood. In comparing the two systems and associated outcomes, I hope to identify new strategies to consider to better serve children and families with social supports. I am also looking forward to fostering new relationships with researchers at INVEST and identifying opportunities for future collaboration to investigate and address social problems and to identify options to enhance child and family wellbeing.