The Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS) and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) are partners in The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD). The SC NYTD team collects information on South Carolina youth in foster care who receive independent living (IL) services and support from the Department of Social Services (DSS). The team surveys youth about their thoughts and experiences of the IL services they receive and documents, tracks, and monitors this information about the transition into adult life. The team also designs programs and policies to make transition easier. Being independent does not mean being alone. The SC NYTD Team is here for youth!

Our Team at The Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS)

Misa Bailey, MPH

Research Associate

Misa conducts interviews with the youth, transcribes these interviews, and oversees the financial and dissemination process of research incentives. Misa also oversees the monthly EMPOWER card giveaways.

Misa received her Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degrees from the University of South Carolina. She has conducted numerous in-depth phone interviews with minority populations. She’s also coordinated study procedures and managed data for a childhood obesity prevention study, assisted on an evaluation of a community health worker curriculum and helped develop a skills-based curriculum for a community-based afterschool program.

Misa believes in advocating for the physical, social and emotional well-being of children and families through research practice, with the faith that people’s stories, coupled with hard data, will drive change in policy and practice.

Amber Baughman, PhD

Research Associate

Amber maintains contact with NYTD participants during and between data collection periods. Amber contacts survey participants near their 17th, 19th, or 21st birthdays to ask them to take the NYTD survey by phone, internet, or mail. She also analyzes the qualitative data gathered in the interviews and assists with data collection.

Amber holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University, and an Ed.S. in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina. She has been a high school counselor, a site supervisor for programs providing academic and emotional support to at-risk youth, and an Assistant Professor. She has publications in the area of leadership and diversity in school counseling and has supervised school counseling students in a variety of high needs settings.

Amber believes in the capacity of every child to transition to a successful adulthood and believes that quality data collection, analysis, and the transformation of research into practice is vital to encouraging every child to reach their full potential.

If you would like to contact Amber about taking the NYTD survey you can e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at (803) 777-8379.

Toni Jones, MSW

Research Associate

Toni Jones maintains contact with youth in care, foster parents, group home staff, and caseworkers. Additionally, she sends out bi-monthly listservs to keep youth and our partners up to date on events and programs to help youth in transition.

Toni graduated with a Master’s of Social Work from the University of South Carolina in 2002. Before working on NYTD, she ran the Education Coach Program in Columbia, SC, and served as an educational coach. The program matched youth living in group homes with an education coach to work with one-on-one. Through this program, Toni learned about the challenges that youth in care face.

If you would like to contact Toni about information that would benefit transition-aged youth, you can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tiara N. Rosemond, PhD, MPH, CHES®

Senior Research Associate and SC NYTD Research Team Lead

Tiara is the supervisor of the SC National Youth in Transition Database (SC NYTD) research team. She is also responsible for data analysis and reporting of NYTD findings.

Tiara received her Master of Public Health and Ph.D. in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina. Tiara has worked for over nine years as both a public health researcher and practitioner, seeking to improve the health and well-being of children in South Carolina. Through her work at the Center, Tiara seeks to enhance the quality of services and programs provided to youth by the SC Department of Social Services.

SC NYTD Graduate Assistants

Each semester, several graduate students at the University of South Carolina devote time and energy to NYTD. They are an important part of the SC NYTD Team. They enter data from the surveys, help disseminate incentives, and research resources for youth in transition. The graduate assistants come from a variety of academic programs, including social work and public health.