Beth Gerlach, Ph.D., is associate director at the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing. She combines her research training with clinical social work experience to evaluate approaches to best serve vulnerable children and families. Her professional interests include developing and evaluating practice and systems that can best support children and parents that have experienced trauma. These systems include schools, healthcare, child welfare and prevention of child maltreatment. She thinks exciting avenues exist in each of these systems to prevent, heal, and reduce the intergeneration transmission of trauma within families. In addition to working on research projects and presenting workshops, Gerlach also enjoys teaching at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She has taught Social Work Practice in Schools, Human Behavior in the Social Environment and Research Methods. She also serves as an appointee to the Travis County Children’s Protective Services Board, is a Horns Helping Horns mentor and a member of the UT Austin School Social Work Conference Committee. Some of her research interests include school-based health and mental health services, prevention of child maltreatment, interdisciplinary approaches to address adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, prevention of multigenerational trauma, restorative discipline practices in schools, family relationships and parenting, and adolescents aging out of foster care.


Professional Interests

Social work practice in schools, prevention and intervention research in school settings, child welfare, adolescent pregnancy prevention, school-based health and mental health services, family relationships and intervention, adolescents aging out of foster care and education reform models.