Monica Faulkner, Ph.D. LMSW, Director

Monica Headshot

 “When I sit back and look at everything we have done in nine years, I feel immensely proud, not of the volume of the work, but the impact that we have made.”

Dr. Monica Faulkner is a Research Associate Professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin and the Director and co-Founder of the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing. Dr. Faulkner holds Bachelor degrees in Government and Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston. She received her PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

As a social worker, Dr. Faulkner has worked as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and as a case manager for children in foster care. Dr. Faulkner also worked in the Texas Legislature focusing on policy issues related to health and human services for two legislative sessions.

Currently, Dr. Faulkner uses her research expertise to build evidence for interventions and policies that improve the lives of marginalized populations of youth and families. She specializes in program evaluations related to child maltreatment prevention, foster care, and adolescent sexual health. She has also conducted original research related to Latino undocumented parents, permanency of foster youth, and educational outcomes of foster youth.

Using her research and practice experience, Dr. Faulkner has facilitated trainings for child welfare professionals and foster parents related to sexual health and working with young parents in foster care. She also provides trainings on trauma informed practice for professionals working with asylum seekers, survivors of family and sexual violence, and parents who have experienced childhood trauma. Dr. Faulkner is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Title IV-E training grant, which provides training and support for social work students working in child welfare.

Dr. Faulkner also consults with non-profits on program design, data management, and general strategic planning. She is a certified Dare to Lead Facilitator and conducts workshops that bring Dare to LeadTM principles into non-profit agencies.

Dr. Faulkner serves as the Chair for the Higher Education Workgroup for the Education Committee of the Children’s Commission, and as a board member for both the Healthy Teen Network and Education Reach for Texas. She is also one of the foster care liaisons at The University of Texas at Austin, where she co-launched SPARK, a program that works to assist former foster youth on campus. She also provides support to Girasol, a program that helps Texas immigrant children and families to heal from trauma through support, education, and connection.

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