Our Staff
Elizabeth Harris, PhD

Elizabeth Harris, PhD

Senior Researcher

Elizabeth Harris, PhD, joined NCCD as a senior researcher in 2017. In this position, Liz has served as the principal investigator for the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project and leads three research evaluations in San Diego. She also co-led the first Family First technical review to be accepted by the Administration on Children and Families.

Liz began her career in 1994 in nonprofit development, public relations, and strategic planning. In 2002, she joined the Community and Economic Development unit for the City of Alameda, California, where she was responsible for conducting and analyzing community needs assessments to inform the city’s allocation of community development funding. She later worked for five years with the City and County of San Francisco’s child welfare department as a senior data/research analyst. In that role, she helped lead an initiative to coach and support supervisors, managers, and executives in using data to plan, implement, and evaluate child welfare practice strategies and programs.

She has consulted and conducted research studies for the Bureau of Children’s Justice with the California Department of Justice and has published book chapters and academic articles about contemporary issues facing families in The Journal of Research in Gender Studies, Social Science Quarterly, and Sociology Compass.

Liz holds a PhD in sociology, with an emphasis on families and education, from Washington State University.

Recent publications from Elizabeth Harris:

By Elizabeth Harris, PhD

In early August, my colleague, Miguel Becerra, and I will present a paper at the Society for the Study of Social Problems annual meeting in New York. In our paper, we use qualitative interviews and focus groups—alongside a 1950’s core sociology theory—to make sense of how parents manage the impressions they make on child welfare workers. We also

Elizabeth Harris

Every time I start a new evaluation project, I feel a mix of excitement and a touch of trepidation: excitement because the idea of finding a solution to an entrenched problem in child welfare is so tantalizing, and trepidation because I know too many well-intentioned, logical social interventions do not foster social change. That worry has been

Elizabeth Harris, PhD

If sociologists had an equivalent to the Hippocratic Oath, we would probably have to swear to identify and bring to light the social structures that perpetuate inequality. Given this, it is not surprising that as a sociologist I have found myself with a career dedicated to studying child welfare reform. Even a cursory glance at the foster care

Elizabeth Harris, PhD

I was excited to learn that under the Family First Prevention Services Act, a greater number of states, tribes, and counties will soon be able to use federal funds to support evidence-based prevention of child maltreatment. At NCCD and the Children’s Research Center, we are dedicated to researching, evaluating, and supporting practices that are