Brenda Jones Harden

Before joining CSSW, Brenda Jones Harden was the Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She directed the Prevention and Early Adversity Research Laboratory, where she and her research team examined the developmental and mental health needs of young children who have experienced early adversity, particularly those who have been maltreated or have experienced other forms of trauma. A particular focus was preventing maladaptive outcomes in these populations through early childhood programs. She conducted numerous evaluations of such programs, including parenting interventions, early care and education, home visiting services, and infant mental health programs. Dr. Jones Harden has consulted with and provided training to numerous organizations regarding effective home visiting, infant and early childhood mental health, reflective supervision, infant/toddler development and intervention, and working with high-risk parents.

She began her career as a child welfare social worker, working in foster care, special needs adoption, and prevention services, the latter of which became her long-term practice and research focus. She is a scientist-practitioner who uses research to improve the quality and effectiveness of child and family services and to inform child and family policy. She received a PhD in developmental and clinical psychology from Yale University and a Master’s in Social Work from New York University.