Leanne Heaton

Senior Researcher

Dr. Leanne Heaton is a Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Heaton is a child welfare and juvenile justice evaluator. At Chapin Hall, her work focuses on using data and evidence to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, youth, and families, and the systems serving them. Heaton currently helps state child welfare agencies and their partners to implement large-scale systems change by providing analytic consultation and research to support decision making. She also provides guidance on multiple evaluation projects within child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Heaton was a Senior Study Director at Westat. During her tenure, she focused on initiatives that informed practice and policy in child welfare and juvenile justice systems. These included The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s On the Frontline Initiative designed to enhance child welfare agencies’ organizational capacity to improve decision-making practices; the Permanency Innovation Initiative (PII) a federal initiative to reduce long-term foster care; and the National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC) a federally-funded study to identify the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in juvenile facilities. The results of PII lead to a promising evidence-informed intervention for supporting LGBTQ youth in foster care. The findings from NSYC are widely disseminated to a broad range of audiences and were instrumental to the development and implementation of standards designed to reduce sexual victimization in juvenile facilities across the country (e.g., The PREA Standards for Juvenile Facilities).

Heaton holds a PhD in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama, and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Montevallo. She teaches Research for Clinical Social Work Practice at VCU and is licensed as a clinical social worker in Virginia.

PhD in Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Master’s Degree in Social Work, University of Alabama

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, University of Montevallo

Heaton, L., Woodruff, K., & Mall, N. (2019). Implementation evaluation of The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s On the Frontline Initiative. Poster presentation at the 2019 National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit, Washington, DC.

Heaton, L., & Chibnall, S. (2019). Adapting interventions for child welfare populations: Important considerations. Workshop at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Washington, DC.

Heaton, L. (2019). The intersection of LGBTQ youth homelessness and child welfare (invited discussant). Child Welfare League of America 2019 National Conference, Washington, DC.

Stroop, J., Steiger, D., Heaton, L., MacAllum, C., Behm, J., & Avison, C. (2018). Current federal research on improving measurement of LGBT populations: Improving the measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity among youth. Invited paper presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings, Vancouver, Canada.

Heaton, L., & Gabel, G. (2018). Evaluation of a trauma intervention adapted for youth in foster care (panel). Society of Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Lorthridge, J., & Heaton, L. (2018). Formative evaluation of a new program to support LGBTQ youth in foster care (panel). Society of Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

Steiger, D., Heaton, L., Behm, J., MacAllum, C., & Stroop, J. (2017). Improving the measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity among youth (invited roundtable). Federal Interagency Working Group for Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), Washington, DC.

Steiger, D., Heaton, L., Behm, J., MacAllum, C., & Stroop, J. (2017). Improving the measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity among youth. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, New Orleans, LA.

Heaton, L. (2017). Racial and ethnic differences in non-lethal suicide behavior and screening services of justice-involved youth. Paper presented at the Society of Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Heaton, L. (2016). Race and ethnic differences in mental health need and services received in justice-involved youth. Paper presented at American Society of Criminologists Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Heaton, L. (2016). Facility-level correlates of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities (panel). International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Kaasa, S., Heaton, L., McAloon, R., & Cantor, D. (2016). Harm, benefit, and regret: How respondent characteristics affect reactions to a sexual assault survey. Paper presented at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Kaasa, S., Steiger, D., Heaton, L., Cantor, D., & McAloon, R. (2016). Respondent reactions to a sexual victimization survey in a multi-mode pilot study. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Austin, TX.

Smith, T., Heaton, L., Zack, S., & Cantor, D. (2014). Obtaining assent from minors – Assessing comprehension in the National Survey of Youth in Custody. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Anaheim, CA.

Heaton, L., & O’Connor, M. K. (2011). Paternal mental health and child neglect: The relevance to social work education. Roundtable discussion at the 57th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Atlanta, GA.

Zagar, K., & Heaton, L. (2011). Assessing parenting capacity of sexually abusive youth. Workshop presented at the Third Annual Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Conference, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia, Salem, VA.

Heaton, L.L., Cui, L., Burstein, M., He, J.P., & Merikangas, K.R. (2011). Perceptions of child neglect on adulthood psychopathology. Poster presented at the 101st Annual American Psychopathological Association Meeting, New York, NY.

Calkins, M.E., Richard, J., Merikangas, K.R., Burstein, M., Heaton, L., Qiu, H., Mentch, F.D., Hermannsson, L., Connolly, J., Abrams, D.J., Chiavacci, R., Grundmeier, R.W., Sleiman, P.M., Loughead, J., Gur, R.C., Hakonarson, H., & Gur, R.E. (2010). Identification of children and adolescents at-risk for psychosis: Results of a screen for subpsychotic symptoms in a community sample. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 49th Annual Conference, Miami, FL.

Zagar, K., & Heaton, L. (2010). Assessing parenting capacity of sexually abusive youth (workshop). Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers 29th Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

 

Heaton, L., Woodruff, K., Williams, B., & Chibnall, S. (2019). Evaluation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s On the Frontline Initiative. https://www.aecf.org/resources/evaluation-of-the-annie-e-casey-foundations-on-the-frontline-initiative/

Heaton, L. (2018). Race and ethnic differences in mental health need and services received in justice-involved youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 90, 54–65. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.04.043

Heaton, L. L. (2018). Racial/ethnic differences of justice-involved youth in substance-related problems and services received. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88(3), 363–375. doi: 10.1037/ort0000312 PMID: 29345478

Lorthridge, J., Evans, M., Heaton, L., Stevens, A., & Phillips, L. (2018). Strengthening family connections and support for LGBTQ foster youth: Findings from the PII-RISE Evaluation. Child Welfare, 96(1), 53–78. Available at: https://www.cwla.org/child-welfare-journal/journal-archives/.

Weeks, A., Altman, D., Stevens, A., Lorthridge, J., & Heaton, L. (2018). Strengthening the workforce to support LGBTQ foster youth through increasing LGBTQ competency: Trainers’ experience with bias. Child Welfare, 96(2), 125–150. Available at: https://www.cwla.org/child-welfare-journal/journal-archives/.

Heaton, L., Cantor, D., Bruce, C., Ren, W., Hartge, J., & Beck, A. J. (2016). Facility-level and individual-level correlates of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities, 2012 (NCJ 249877). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5663.

Merikangas, K. R., Zhang, J., Emsellem, H., Swanson, S., Vgontzas, A., Belouad, F., Blank, M. M, Chen, W., Einen, M., He, J. P., Heaton, L., Nakamura, E., Rooholamini, S., & Mignot, E. (2014). The Structured Diagnostic Interview for Sleep Patterns and Disorders: Rationale and initial evaluation. Sleep Medicine, 15, 530–535. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.10.011 PMID: 24780136

Merikangas, K. R., Cui, L., Heaton, L., Nakamura, E., Roca, C., Ding, J., . . . Angst, J. (2013). Independence of familial transmission of mania and depression: Results of the NIMH Family Study of Affective Spectrum Disorders. Molecular Psychiatry, 19(2), 214–219.

Lateff, T., Heaton, L., Cui, L., Nakamura, E., & Merikangas, K. (2013). Validation of a headache interview for children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 131(1), 96–102.

Heaton, L., Cui, L., Burstein, M., He, J. P., & Merikangas, K.M. (2011). Perception of child neglect and psychopathology in a population-based sample of US adults. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 52(6), e7-e8. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2011.04.026

Merikangas, K. R., He, J. P., Burstein, M. E., Swendsen, J., Avenevoli, S., Case, B., Georgiades, K., Heaton, L., Swanson, S., & Olfson, M. (2011). Service utilization for lifetime mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results of the National Comorbidity Survey of Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(1), 32–45.

Schmitz, A., Merikangas, K., Swendsen, H., Heaton, L., & Grillon, C. (2011). Measuring anxious responses to predictable and unpredictable threat in children and adolescents. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110(2), 159–170.