Julia Henly’s researches the understanding of the economic and caregiving strategies of low-income families, with particular attention to the consequences of unpredictable work schedules and the impact of parental work schedules on children's care arrangements. In addition, to how well child care subsidies and other public benefits serve low-income families. She is currently the principal investigator of a multi-year, mixed-methods study in Illinois and New York that examines how child care subsidy program parameters contribute to (in)stability in child care and in turn, how patterns of subsidy use shape low-income families’ access to high quality and stable subsidized arrangements. In other work, she has also investigated questions related to the contribution of public assistance and informal social support to material hardship and family well-being.
Prof. Henly is a 2018 Society for Social Work and Research Fellow, a 2016 Interdisciplinary Research Leadership Program Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a 2016 Distinguished Fellow of the William T. Grant Foundation. She is also a longstanding member of the steering committee of the US/DHHS Administration for Children and Families' Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium.
Prof. Henly's scholarship has received generous funding from federal government agencies and private foundations and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, such as Social Service Review, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Marriage and Family, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Social Work Research, Children and Youth Services Review, and Journal of Social Issues.