Todd Jensen is a research associate in the Jordan Institute for Families and a research assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Jensen is committed to promoting family resilience and youth well-being, and transforming the systems that best support them. He has studied extensively the experiences of families who face shifts in structure, particularly when parental figures exit or enter a household. As a doctoral student, this work was supported by two awards — a Chancellor’s Fellowship from the Royster Society of Fellows and a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. His research on stepfamilies has also been featured by the New York Times and Child Trends.
Jensen currently serves as co-principal investigator on a federally funded, nationwide project aimed at supporting the U.S. Air Force Family Advocacy Program and their efforts to prevent family maltreatment among active duty members. Dr. Jensen serves as an investigator on two additional projects. One is a multi-year grant to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Get Ready Guilford Initiative, a large-scale community effort focused on promoting the healthy development and school readiness of children in Guilford County, North Carolina. The other is a multi-year contract to evaluate the Building Bridges Initiative, a state-wide effort in North Carolina to promote family engagement in youth psychiatric residential treatment facilities. Dr. Jensen seeks to bolster prospective social workers’ capacity for evidence-based practice, and optimize their efforts to support families and youth in the community, by teaching graduate courses on human development, research methods, and statistics.