Senior Research Scientist, Duke Center for Child and Family Policy

Nicole Lawrence's research/work experience and academic training has been primarily focused on public policy and the impacts on children and families, program development and program evaluation. Since joining the Center for Child and Family Policy she has served in a leadership capacity on five externally funded program evaluations, including the Multiple Response System (NCDSS), the Alamance Alliance (SAMHSA), the Mental Health Outreach Program (BJA), BECOMING (SAMHSA), and the East Durham Children’s Initiative (OAK Foundation and Brady Education Foundation). She is currently working on the Child Mental Health Initiative.

The Multiple Response Evaluation was funded by the North Carolina Division of Social Services, and collected data in more than 25 counties across the state to assess implementation, practice variations and outcomes for the strategies associated with this large-scale reform of child protective services.

Lawrence also serves as an evaluator and co-PI for two SAMHSA-funded children’s mental health initiatives in Alamance and Durham counties. Both evaluations are comprised of comprehensive longitudinal and cost/services studies, as well as data collection activities and analysis informing local areas of interest. She is also co-PI on the recently funded East Durham Children’s Initiative. Funding from the Oak and Brady Foundations will support a rigorous evaluation of this program designed to serve at-risk children living in a high poverty area of East Durham, with the goal of improving educational outcomes and college degree attainment.

Prior to joining the Center, Lawrence was a program manager for the Children and Families Commission, where she was responsible for four major programs under two separate initiatives totaling more than $6 million in funding.

Research Interests:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Education
  • Children's Mental Health