Beth Gifford

Director, Durham Children’s Data Center; Director, Program Evaluation Services; Research Scientist

Beth Gifford is a research scientist, director of the Durham Children's Data Center and director of program evaluation services for the Center. She leads the evaluation of the America’s Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summits and is consulting on the evaluation of the Duke Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Initiative. In addition, she is an investigator on a NIDA-funded project examining the intergenerational effects of substance use, an investigator on an IES-funded project related to truancy prevention, and Studying Whether Two North Carolina Legal Interventions Reduce Child Maltreatment, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Her primary research interests involve evaluating programs and policies that are designed to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. These populations include children who live in low-income families, in the juvenile justice system, in foster care, require special education or who have emotional and or behavioral problems.

Research Interests:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Children and the Law
  • Education
  • Poverty and Inequality

Research Projects:

  • Director of Program Evaluation Services
  • Director of the Durham Children's Data Center
  • Intergenerational Effects of Drug Treatment Courts (funded by NIDA)
  • Legal levers to address child maltreatment (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Early Truancy Prevention (funded by Institute for Education Statistics)
  • Duke Integrated Pediatric Mental Health Initiative (The Duke Endowment)
  • Evaluation of America's Promise Dropout Summits


  • Ph.D. Penn State University - 2005
  • M.S. Penn State University - 2000
  • B.S. Cornell University - 1997

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Evans, KE; Sloan, FA (2016) Criminally Involved Parents Who Misuse Substances and Children's Odds of Being Arrested as a Young Adult: Do Drug Treatment Courts Mitigate the Risk? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 2447-2457, [s10826-016-0406-9], [abs]
  • Eldred, LM; Gifford, EJ (2016) Empirical evidence on legal levers aimed at addressing child maltreatment Children and Youth Services Review, 60, 11-19, [S019074091530102X], [doi], [abs]
  • Babinski, L.,Corra, A. and Gifford, E.J. (2016) Using a media content analysis to evaluate the impact of a public awareness campaign The Journal of Primary Prevention, , [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Sloan, FA; Evans, KE (2016) Parental Criminal Justice Involvement and Children's Involvement With Child Protective Services: Do Adult Drug Treatment Courts Prevent Child Maltreatment? Substance Use & Misuse (Informa), 51, 179-192, [10826084.2015.1089906], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Wells, RS; Bai, Y; Malone, PS (2015) Is implementation fidelity associated with improved access to care in a school-based Child and Family Team model? Evaluation and Program Planning, 49, 41-49, [S014971891400127X], [doi], [abs]
  • Wells, R; Gifford, E; Bai, Y; Corra, A (2015) A Network Perspective on Dropout Prevention in Two Cities Educational Administration Quarterly, 51, 27-57, [27], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Sloan, FA; Eldred, LM; Evans, KE (2015) Intergenerational effects of parental substance-related convictions and adult drug treatment court participation on children's school performance. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 452-468, [doi], [abs]
  • Lynne, EG; Gifford, EJ; Evans, KE; Rosch, JB (2015) Barriers to reporting child maltreatment: do emergency medical services professionals fully understand their role as mandatory reporters? North Carolina Medical Journal, 76, 13-18, , [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; Vernerey, A; Sloan, FA (2014) How does family drug treatment court participation affect child welfare outcomes? Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 1659-1670, [S0145213414001033], [doi], [abs]
  • Skinner, AT; Babinski, LM; Gifford, EJ (2014) TEACHERS’ EXPECTATIONS AND SELF-EFFICACY FOR WORKING WITH BULLIES AND VICTIMS Psychology in the Schools, 51, 72-84, [abstract], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, EJ; Eldred, LM; McCutchan, SA; Sloan, FA (2014) The effects of participation level on recidivism: a study of drug treatment courts using propensity score matching. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 9, 40, [abstract], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, E.J. and Evans, K.E. (2011) America's Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Summits: Mobilizing Action to Address the High School Dropout Crisis across the Nation
  • Wells, R; Gifford, EJ (2013) Implementing a case management initiative in high-need schools Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 787-796, [026], [doi], [abs]
  • Gifford, Elizabeth J., Eldred, Lindsey, and Sloan, Frank (2014) Empirical evidence on legal levers aimed at addressing child abuse and neglect
  • Sloan, F., Gifford, E.J.,Chepke, L., Acquah, K. and Bevins, C. (2013) How specialty courts affect outcomes for youth in foster care Evaluation Review, 37, 3-37, [3.abstract], [abs]
  • Gifford, E.J., Wells, R.S, Miller, S., Troop, T.O., Bai, Y., Babinski, L. (2010) Pairing nurses and social workers in schools: North Carolina’s school-based child and family support teams Journal of School Health,
  • Gifford, EJ; Foster, EM (2008) Provider-level effects on length of stay for youth with mental health and substance abuse disorders Medical Care, 46, 240-246, [18388838], [doi]
  • Foster, E.M., E.J. Gifford (2005) The Transition to Adulthood for Youth Leaving Public Systems: Challenges to policies and research
  • Bhandari, S. and Gifford, E. (2003) Children with Health Insurance in the United States: 2002 , 60-224,