Laurie C. Maldonado is a social worker, educator, and an international scholar on single-parent families. She is Assistant Professor of Social Work at Molloy University and Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW). She holds a MSW and PhD in social welfare at UCLA.
Dr. Maldonado teaches capstone, research, and practice with families, communities and organizations at Molloy University. She is delighted to teach the policy seminar series at CSSW! She has taught several courses at CSSW since 2016, and is interested in sharing her expertise in comparative social policy. With Molloy’s International Office of Education, Dr. Maldonado designed a week-long international trip to Belgium for students to learn more about the European Union and the role of the social welfare state. Molloy students collaborate with University of Antwerp students on a project that explores the differences between the social policy and social work practice in Belgium and the US.
Maldonado’s research aims to inform policies and programs to improve the lives of single parents and their children in the US and across countries. She received a four-year PhD grant awarded by Luxembourg National Research Fund, which fully supported her dissertation titled Doing Better for Single-Parent Families: Policy and Poverty in 45 Countries. A study that found the effectiveness of child support, child benefit, paid leave, and working time policies that reduce poverty for families. Previously, she was a pre-doctoral scholar and researcher at The Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the Graduate Center CUNY and The LIS Cross-National Data Center.
Maldonado co-authored, with Rense Nieuwenhuis from Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), publications featured in Community, Work, and Family, Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology, Belgian Social Security Review, Handbook of Research on In-Work Poverty, and Handbook of Family Policy. 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 UN Women, the European Union and as part of the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty.
Maldonado co-edited a book with Bristol University Press, titled The Triple Bind of Single-Parent Families. Single parents face a triple bind of inadequate resources, employment, and policy – which combined, make it really difficult for single parents to provide for themselves and their children. The book shows evidence from over 40 countries, suggesting that these challenges are less about individual factors and more about structural factors that warrant policy solutions. Leading international scholars provide rigorous research to examine effective policy to support single-parent families.
Maldonado co-authored with Tim Casey from Legal Momentum, a paper titled Worst Off: Single-Parent Families in the United States. 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 policies 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.
Currently, Maldonado is co-editing, with Janet Gornick at the Graduate Center CUNY and Amanda Sheely at London School of Economics, a forthcoming volume on Single-Parent Families and Public Policy in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. This volume aims to have an impact on the US; to extend our understanding of single-parent families and of the most effective policy approaches from several high-income countries.
Dr. Maldonado loves the social work profession. She served as a social worker in community-based organizations that served women and children in Los Angeles and New York.