Elissa Gitlow


Elissa Gitlow is a Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her work centers on research and evaluation efforts that support children and families. Gitlow has primarily worked on projects related to evidence-based home visiting, pregnant and parenting youth, child welfare, and early intervention and prevention. Her current work includes evaluations of a DCFS pilot to support pregnant and parenting youth in care with home visiting services, a DCFS evaluation pertaining to the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD), and an evaluation of the Fussy Baby Network® Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) training and implementation with home visiting staff. She recently worked on the Voices of Youth Count (VoYC) project and a DCFS evaluation of the Immersion Sites.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Gitlow worked at CASA of Cook County as an Advocate Supervisor, Director of Child Advocacy, and as the program’s Executive Director. At CASA, Gitlow was responsible for the implementation of the CASA program, as well as for the supervision of program staff and advocate volunteers.

Gitlow received her MS in Social Work from Columbia University. She received her BS in Political Science and Sociology from New York University.

MS in Social Work, Columbia University

BS in Political Science and Sociology, New York University

Gitlow, E., Banman, A., & Spielberger, J. (2014, January). Developing infrastructure to support a state system of prevention. Presented at The Society for Social Work and Research 2014 Annual Conference, Austin, TX

Spielberger, J., Gitlow, E., & Dadisman, K. (2012, December). Building a strong foundation: Enhancing training and technical assistance for home visitors in Illinois. Presented at 2012 EBHV Grantee meeting, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J., Gitlow, E., Palmer, A., & Kelly, T. (2012, April). Strong foundations: Enhancing the infrastructure for evidence-based home visitation in Illinois. Poster presented at 2012 CAN Meeting, Washington, DC.

Smithgall , C., DeCoursey, J., Gitlow, E., Yang, D. H., Jarpe-Ratner, E., & Goerge, R. (2011, January). Engaging fathers in child welfare: From assessments to services. Society for Social Work Research 14th Annual Conference, Tampa, FL.

Smithgall, C., Brooks, L., DeCoursey, J., Gitlow, E., Goerge, R., Jarpe-Ratner, E., Yang, D. H., Aviles, H., Owen, Small, L. (2009, May). Comprehensive family assessment in Illinois: Year 1 of the evaluation of the DCFS Integrated Assessment Program. Poster presented at the 2009 Children’s Bureau Evaluation Summit, Washington, DC.

Dworsky, A., & Gitlow, E. (2017). Employment outcomes of young parents who age out of foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 72, 133-140.

Barak, A., Spielberger, J. & E. Gitlow. (2014). The challenge of relationships and fidelity. Children and Youth Services Review, 42, 50-58.

Willison, B., Brooks, J. L., Salas, M., Dank, M., Denver, M., Gitlow, E., Roman, J. K., & Butts, J. A. (2010). Reforming juvenile justice systems: Beyond treatment. A Reclaiming Futures national evaluation report. Portland, OR: Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, Portland State University.

Butts, J. A., Roman, J., & Gitlow, E. (2009). Organizing for outcomes: Measuring the effects of reclaiming futures in four communities. Portland, OR: Reclaiming Futures National Program Office.

Key Work

Key Work

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