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 undocumented Latino parents, permanency of foster youth, and educational outcomes of foster youth.

By fusing her experience in research and practice, Dr. Faulkner has facilitated trainings nationwide on a variety of subject matters. She has spoken extensively to child welfare professionals and foster parents regarding the importance of sexual health education and how providers can better support young parents in foster care. She also delivers trainings on trauma informed practice for professionals working with migrants, as well as on topics related to sexual violence and family violence. Dr. Faulkner is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Title IV-E training grant, which serves to advance training and support for social work students involved in the child welfare sector.

Additionally, Dr. Faulkner 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 a board member for the Healthy Teen Network and Education Reach for Texas. She is the former Chair for the Higher Education Workgroup for the Education Committee of the Children’s Commission and she currently serves on the Foster Care Education Committee and Data Committee for the Children’s Communication. Dr. Faulkner serves on the Round Rock ISD School Health Advisory Committee where she chairs the subcommittee addressing sexual health education. 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 is also a faculty member for the Rooted Collective which is seeking to expand supports on campus for students who are immigrants. She also provides support to Girasol, a program that helps Texas immigrant children and families to heal from trauma through support, education, and connection.

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Interests

Child welfare, teen pregnancy/parenthood, women’s health, child care, Latino families, immigration, child and family policy, advanced statistics: hierarchal linear modeling.