Due to the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the protection of the health and safety of South Carolinians, Center for Child and Family Studies staff members are working remotely. The best way to reach us is by email.


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.

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.