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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Heather Taussig

Associate Dean for Research
PhD, San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego


  • preventive interventions for high-risk youth
  • child maltreatment and foster care
  • youth mentoring and other "positive youth development" programming
  • problem behaviors in adolescence 
  • implementation science
  • randomized controlled trials and longitudinal studies 


Professor Heather Taussig’s research focuses on the development of efficacious preventive interventions to improve outcomes for children and adolescents at risk for adverse outcomes. Prior to joining the GSSW faculty, Taussig was a faculty member at the University of Colorado’s Kempe Center, where she developed and directed Fostering Healthy Futures ® (FHF), a mentoring program for preadolescent children in foster care. Her team conducted two randomized controlled trials of FHF, funded by the National Institutes of Health, and they are piloting a mentoring program for teens to extend the program’s reach. Other current research endeavors include the dissemination and implementation of FHF through community-based organizations and a longitudinal study, funded by the National Institute of Justice, to examine the transition to independence for young adults with a history of out-of-home care. 

Taussig, who serves as GSSW’s Associate Dean for Research, has also conducted studies on risk and protective factors, child well-being in foster care, youth mentoring and policy issues. She served on former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s Task Force on Foster Care and Permanence, and she participates in several community collaboratives. Taussig was honored by the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect for her significant contributions to the field.

See Web page and CV.