Senior Program Area Director for Child Welfare and Senior Research Scientist
Education: M.S., Family Studies, University of Maryland
Karin Malm has over 20 years of experience conducting research and evaluation of child welfare programs, including adoption and kinship care, foster care, family preservation and support, child protective services and domestic violence collaborative efforts, and nonresident father support and engagement. She recently served as the principal investigator on an experimental evaluation of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruitment program, the primary initiative of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. In addition, she directs several experimental evaluations of an intensive relative search model, Family Finding, increasingly being implemented by child welfare agencies to improve outcomes for foster children.
Over the years, Karin has studied many aspects of kinship care and is currently examining kinship diversion practices and developing the survey instrument for a National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care. She is the co-author of Adoption USA: A Chartbook based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. Karin also authored What About the Dads? Child Welfare Agencies’ Efforts to Identify, Locate, and Involve Nonresident Fathers, which prompted funding for the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and Families’ Nonresident Father Quality Improvement Center.
AREAS OF SUBSTANTIVE EXPERIENCE
Child Abuse and Neglect
Children in Poverty
Transition to Adulthood
Domestic Violence and Child Welfare
Nonresident Fathers and Child Welfare
AREAS OF METHODOLOGICAL EXPERTISE
Process and Outcome Evaluation
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
Jessica Dym Bartlett
Senior Research Scientist
Education: Ph.D., Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University; M.S.W., Simmons School of Social Work
Jessica Dym Bartlett conducts applied research on child welfare, child trauma, and other early childhood adversities, with a focus on identifying individual, family, and contextual factors that contribute to resilience among young children and their families. She has expertise in a range of methodologies, such as randomized controlled trials, mixed method designs, observational studies, analysis of large administrative datasets, and participatory action research. Her current work includes serving as Co-Principal Investigator on a 15-state longitudinal randomized controlled trial study of resilience to child abuse and neglect in Early Head Start, and as Evaluator for two evidence-based child trauma training projects. In addition to her research interests, Jessica has a broad applied background, having worked for over a decade as a child and family psychotherapist, early childhood mental health consultant, and adoption placement worker for abused and neglected children.
Jessica completed her undergraduate (B.A.), Master’s (M.A.), and Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees in child study and human development at Tufts University. She received a doctoral fellowship award from the Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC) for her dissertation research on discontinuity in intergenerational cycles of child maltreatment, and she received an award for her completed dissertation from the American Psychological Association’s Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37). Jessica also has a Master’s degree in Social Work (M.S.W.) from Simmons School of Social Work.
Senior Research Scientist
Education: M.S.W., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Kerry DeVooght, M.S.W., is a senior research scientist at Child Trends, with years of experience leading and designing research to better understand child welfare policies and practices. She is currently the PI for an evaluation of the scaling up of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) adoption recruitment program, and previously she managed the multi-year, multi-site random assignment evaluation of the WWK program. She is also currently directing a study of state services and supports for older youth transitioning from foster care. She brings additional expertise in survey design and state child welfare policy analysis, having led several major national surveys on topics including child welfare financing, family foster care reimbursement rates, and supports for maltreated infants and toddlers. Prior to joining Child Trends, Ms. DeVooght worked as foster care caseworker in the Washington, D.C. child welfare system.
Education: Ph.D., Social Work and Political Science, University of Michigan
David Crampton is as an associate professor of social work and associate director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His scholarship focuses on the evaluation of family-centered and community-based child welfare practices with the ultimate goal of protecting vulnerable children through the engagement of families, communities, and public-private partnerships.
Education: Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, University of Michigan
Elizabeth Bringewatt works in the Child Welfare program area. She has experience conducting qualitative research and program evaluations, with a focus on child welfare, children’s mental health, and youth perspectives. She is currently participating in evaluations of diligent recruitment programs for children in the foster care system. She also manages a post-adoption study funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, assessing how youth who were adopted through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruitment program are faring as young adults. She is experienced in conducting site visits and developing web-based data collection systems, both from her work at Child Trends and her prior work at the Urban Institute. She completed a joint doctoral program in Social Work and Sociology at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation involved a qualitative analysis of how children diagnosed with mental health disorders learn about and experience their diagnoses.
Dana Dean Connelly
Education: Ph.D., University of Kentucky; M.S.S.W., University of Louisville
Dana Connelly works in the Child Welfare program area, and has experience in program evaluation, qualitative research methods, and quantitative data analysis. She currently has a lead role in Child Trends’ partnership with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, providing database management and evaluation activities. She also contributes to research in the areas of state child welfare policy and child welfare financing. Prior to joining Child Trends, Dana worked in Quality Assurance at a county child welfare agency and spent five years providing direct services and case management to youth in a residential treatment setting. She holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation involved a quantitative analysis of forces driving state child welfare policy decisions and the impact those policies have on outcomes for children in out-of-home care.
Education: J.D., American University Washington College of Law
Elizabeth Jordan works in the Child Welfare research area, focusing on legal research and the intersection of research and public policy. In that capacity, she developed and conducted interviews with judges and guardians ad litem working on child welfare cases. She also played a lead role in conducting a 50-state survey on policies and initiatives supporting very young children in foster care. Ms. Jordan previously worked at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law where she conducted an in-depth, 50-state review of laws and policies impacting kinship caregivers. She also clerked for two judges on child welfare calendars at the D.C. Superior Court. Her interests include early childhood development and the unique educational needs of children in the child welfare system.
Education: M.S.W., Social Work, Loyola University of Chicago
Berenice Rushovich works in the Child Welfare research area. She has experience in program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research methods. Berenice’s research has focused on initiatives to enhance placement stability, permanency and well-being for youth in foster care. She has looked at both the process of implementation and the impact of initiatives at the individual and systems level.
Her work has also focused on developing an evidence base for initiatives and helping agencies build their implementation and evaluation capacity. Previously she worked at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Ruth Young Center where she was part of the evaluation team for a Family Connections combination grant, a National Resource Center grant and several community based evaluation projects.
Sarah Catherine Williams
Education: M.S.W., University of Georgia
Sarah Catherine Williams works in the Child Welfare program area, and has experience in program evaluation, qualitative research methods, and has conducted analyses and syntheses of qualitative data. She has also worked in the development of an automated case management system which is used to collect quantitative and qualitative data for program evaluations and has provided technical assistance to child welfare professionals seeking to improve programs that serve children in foster care. She has extensive experience in semi-structured interviewing and focus group facilitation, both in English and in Spanish. Her past research has focused on relative search and engagement techniques, effective child advocacy, disproportionality in child welfare, and social service use by Latino immigrant families. Sarah Catherine was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. She has five years’ experience in family engagement and elementary education with primarily Latino populations.
Education: M.S.W., Texas State University
Lacey Morris is a research analyst in the Child Welfare department at Child Trends. Her primary experience is in program implementation and evaluation, qualitative research, and quantitative research. Lacey worked as a graduate research assistant in the School of Social Work at Texas State University, where she completed her Master of Social Work. While at Texas State, Lacey worked on a federal grant that facilitated a healthy relationships program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. She also served as an advocate for foster care alumni in higher education. Additionally, Lacey has ten years’ experience providing direct care for abused and neglected children in emergency intake settings.
Senior Research Analyst
Education: M.P.P., Georgetown University
Kristina Rosinsky works in the Child Welfare and Reproductive Health & Family Formation research areas at Child Trends. Her research interests include early childhood development, the prevention of unintended pregnancy, the prevention of abuse and neglect, interventions for maltreated children, and more. Before joining Child Trends, Kristina worked at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University where she managed a project designed to translate research on what works in juvenile justice into practice. Kristina earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Her master’s thesis was a quantitative analysis of the relationship between enrollment in publicly funded preschool and fourth-grade math test scores. Kristina previously graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Government and Politics. Her undergraduate thesis explored the impacts of U.S. family planning policy on international development.
Senior Research Assistant
Education: B.A., Psychology and Sociology, Wake Forest University
Garet Fryar works in the child welfare program area. Her other research interests include homelessness, poverty, early childhood development, the prevention of abuse and neglect, and the effects of public policy. Before joining Child Trends, Garet worked at the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) where she helped orchestrate convenings for local, state, and national policy-makers around education issues for all youth, especially those involved with the foster care system. While at AYPF she co-authored a report outlining the policy, practice, and research needs and state exemplars for youth transitioning out of foster care. Garet graduated from Wake Forest University with a double major in psychology and sociology, focusing on childhood development and education.
Senior Research Assistant
Education: B.A., Mathematics and Sociology, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Esther Gross works in the Child Welfare research area as a senior research assistant. Her past research experience has included statistical modeling, sociology of mental health, social networks, class and inequality. She is interested in child welfare policy and program evaluation using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Senior Project Assistant
Education: B.S., Biology, Johnson C. Smith University
Avis Thompson works in the Child Welfare research area as a senior project assistant. In her undergraduate studies, Avis studied at-risk teens and their sexual activity. She currently provides project support for the evaluation of several family finding programs around the country. Her interests include minority health and education, and child welfare. Avis plans on pursuing a dual graduate degree in public health and social work.