Social Welfare, University of Pennsylvania
Cohort Six Fellow

Academic Mentor
Antonio Garcia
School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Policy Mentor
Stephanie Shell
Senior Director of Strategy Development, Public Health Management Corporation

Current Institutional Affiliation
University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work: Lecturer

Areas of Expertise
Child Welfare and Foster Care Systems, Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Implementation Science, Regression Modeling, Mixed Methods, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, Rural Populations, Social Service Providers


Christina DeNard is a Lecturer at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to other child welfare practice experiences, Ms. DeNard worked as a success coach social worker where she had the unique opportunity to participate in the creation and provision of an intervention to families with children exiting foster care, while also assisting in mitigating the challenges of its implementation within the agency. These work experiences influenced Ms. DeNard’s research interests, which include examining the implementation of evidence-based practices within child welfare agencies, child welfare policy and practice, and child welfare reform. Ms. DeNard received a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of Social Work and certification as a Child Welfare Education Collaborative Scholar from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics and Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park.