Elizabeth Jordan, the director of policy communications and outreach at Child Trends, focuses on facilitating better use of research by policymakers and practitioners. She works across the organization to identify and strengthen connections with end-users of Child Trends research, ensuring that the work reaches these users in ways that are understandable and actionable. Beth also directs several projects across the child welfare, early childhood, and youth development research areas that explore how policies can support or raise challenges for vulnerable children and their families. For example, she leads technical assistance to help state and local organizations use research in their policy outreach efforts. Beth also co-leads a project to better understand ways in which juvenile justice judges incorporate research into their decision making.
Previously, Beth developed, conducted, and analyzed a series of interviews with judicial officers and guardians ad litem in North Carolina to assess barriers and challenges to permanency with relatives for children in foster care. She has experience fielding 50-state surveys on child welfare initiatives (including for very young children and those who have recently aged out of foster care), analyzing results, and writing reports based on findings. Prior to Child Trends, Beth served as a law clerk for two judges on abuse/neglect calendars in the District of Columbia. In that capacity, she drafted court orders and opinions; worked with attorneys, children, and parents; and organized judicial caseloads. Beth also received a fellowship through the American University Washington College of Law and the American Bar Association. While at the American Bar Association, Beth developed statutory content for Grandfamilies.org, a national online database of laws for grandparents and other kin raising children, both outside and through the child welfare system.