Laurie C. Maldonado is a scholar on single-parent families in the U.S. and across countries. She holds a MSW and PhD in social welfare at UCLA. She is a research associate at the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the Graduate Center, City University of New York and affiliated with LIS Cross-National Data Center.
She hopes to contribute to research that informs policies and programs that will improve the lives of single parents and their families. Laurie received a PhD grant awarded by Luxembourg National Research Fund, which supported her dissertation titled Doing Better for Single-Parent Families: Policy and Poverty in 45 Countries. A global study that examined the effectiveness of child support, child benefit, paid leave, public childcare, and working time regulation polices to reduce poverty among families.
She has co-authored, with Rense Nieuwenhuis from Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), publications featured in Community, Work, and Family Journal and Belgian Social Security Review. Their joint work was nominated in 2016 for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research and their findings have been featured in reports by the European Union and as part of the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty. Nieuwenhuis and Maldonado have a forthcoming book chapter in the Handbook of Research on In-Work Poverty on single parents who are working, yet despite their earnings from employment their families remain below the poverty threshold.
Nieuwenhuis and Maldonado are co-editing a book with Policy Press, titled The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families. Single parents face a triple bind of inadequate resources, employment, and policies, which in combination complicate their lives. The book shows evidence from over 40 countries along with country case studies. Leading international scholars challenge our current understanding of what works and draw policy lessons on how to improve the well-being of single parents and their children. The book will be published February 2018.
Dr. Maldonado co-authored with Tim Casey from Legal Momentum, a paper titled Worst Off: Single-Parent Families in the United States: A Cross-National Comparison of Single-Parenthood in the U.S. and Sixteen Other High-Income Countries. The study made an important contribution towards understanding the difficult plight of single parents in the U.S. as mostly due to the lack of social polices and protections that are otherwise offered in other high-income countries. The study received media attention in The Nation, by Bill Moyers, in the New York Times, by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, in Forbes, on the radio station WBAI, and on the television Al Jazeera International English.
Laurie teaches policy and practice courses to MSW students at Columbia University of Social Work. Prior to her academic life, Laurie was a social worker in community-based organizations that served women and children in poverty.