Heather Wasik (Fish) is a family formation researcher with expertise in developing and implementing large-scale trainings and technical assistance as well as coordinating rigorous program evaluations. For 4 years she has led conference planning, measure development, and data collection efforts related to teen pregnancy prevention, healthy relationships, and responsible fatherhood.
Wasik recently finished managing the 2016 and 2014 HHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conferences. These conferences brought together 1,000 representatives of teen pregnancy prevention and sexual health grantees from four federal agencies. She has also led a synthesis of more than 100 rigorously evaluated teen pregnancy prevention programs to determine what works for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Wasik has contributed to recent evaluations of innovative teen pregnancy prevention and family strengthening programs, with a particular focus in measure development and survey design.
Looking forward, Wasik is most interested in improving the health and well-being of refugee children and families through family strengthening programs. She has ground-level experience working with diverse children and youth as a data collector, mentor, and counselor. Prior to Child Trends, Wasik’s research focused on the religiosity of youth and families, as well as refugee and immigrant acculturation, particularly among those recovering from genocide. She is interested in merging her interest areas in the future and exploring the training and technical assistance needs of organizations serving refugee families and youth.