Beth Weigensberg

Elizabeth Weigensberg

Principal Researcher
  • Mixed methods evaluation
  • Quantitative analysis with administrative data
  • Child welfare programs and policies
  • Performance measurement
  • Predictive analytics
  • Cross-program data linking
Focus Areas
  • Family Support
  • Human Services
  • Child Welfare
About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Weigensberg is an expert on designing and conducting evaluations, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, and developing and estimating performance measures for public child welfare agencies. Her expertise includes linking and analyzing complex administrative data from state and local public agencies and providing technical assistance to facilitate the development and use of data to inform policy and practice.

Weigensberg has led numerous child welfare research projects. She currently serves as project director for the State Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database, which is a data resource documenting states’ definitions and policies related to the incidence of child abuse and neglect for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) and the Children’s Bureau (CB). She also directs the Child Welfare Study to Enhance Equity with Data for OPRE, which explores how data are used to advance equity in service delivery and child and family outcomes. She is also the director of a project for the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) on Improving the Cross-Program Data Infrastructure for Foster Care Prevention, which aims to enhance the data infrastructure and analytic capacity of State child welfare and Medicaid agencies to improve the delivery and oversight of services, improve their ability to monitor program spending, and conduct cross-program research and evaluation of service outcomes. In addition, she has led several other child welfare studies for ASPE, including studies on the relationship between foster care and substance use in local communities, the variability in states’ use of exceptions to timeline requirements for termination of parental rights, and how key child welfare measures have changed during the pandemic. She also served in key roles for several child welfare projects for CB, including the national cross-site evaluation for the Regional Partnership Grants and the evaluation of the Center for Native Child and Family Resilience.

Weigensberg came to Mathematica in 2015 from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, where she was a senior researcher and principal investigator on numerous projects. She previously worked as a research instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as an analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.S. in social work from Columbia University.

Key Projects
  • SEED
    Child Welfare Study to Enhance Equity with Data (CW-SEED)

    There is limited information on current and promising practices across the data lifecycle that advance equity in child welfare. This project is a first step towards understanding data practices by which child welfare agencies and their partners seek to achieve equity for the families served.

  • Superutilization of Child Welfare and Other Services

    Reducing the number of children in foster care requires actionable policy and practical solutions. By identifying subpopulations of children and youth who use intensive or frequent services, we might shed light on those who lack the right types of support at critical junctures, live in overly restrictive...

Latest News
  • Mathematica at the 2019 ISM Annual Conference

    Join Mathematica at the 2019 ISM Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Elizabeth Weigensberg, Mathematica’s state and local child welfare lead, and Matthew Stagner, vice president and director of human services, team up to share their expertise on how being data driven can improve outcomes for...

  • Mathematica's Elizabeth Weigensberg Wins the Louis Brownlow Award

    Elizabeth Weigensberg and her coauthors on a recent article in <em>Public Administration Review</em> are this year’s recipients of the Louis Brownlow Award. The Brownlow Award is presented to the authors of the best article by a practitioner or for a practitioner audience for the volume year.