Lundquist currently serves as project director for the Optimizing Texting Technology through Engagement Research with Students (OTTERS) project. The OTTERS project is designed: (1) to study student usage and engagement with Otterbot, an interactive chatbot (Otterbot) to help high school juniors and seniors obtain financial aid to attend college in Washington State and (2) to run A/B testing on various strategies to improve student usage and engagement with Otterbot. Lundquist also works as project manager for the TANF Data Innovations (TDI) project, a national technical assistance project that is seeking to support routine use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) data and other administrative data so that agencies can make more informed decisions about how to best serve their clients. TDI includes a national needs assessment, creation and analysis of a national dataset with several years of federally reported TANF data linked with National Directory of New Hires data, and the TANF Data Collaborative, which offers an array of technical assistance opportunities to TANF agencies. Lundquist has also served in project management, data management, and impact-analysis roles in several large federal projects, including the Building Bridges and Bonds project, the Supporting Healthy Marriage project, the Employment Retention and Advancement project, and the Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies project. Before coming to MDRC, she received her master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Early Findings on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program — A Report to CongressJanuary, 2015
This report presents the first findings from MIHOPE, the legislatively mandated national evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. It includes an analysis of the states’ needs assessments, as well as baseline characteristics of families, staff, local programs, and models participating in the study.Report
Final Impacts from the Supporting Healthy Marriage EvaluationJanuary, 2014
Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM) was a yearlong voluntary marriage education program to help strengthen couples’ relationships. SHM had small sustained positive effects on marital quality more than a year after the program ended but did not achieve its objectives of leading more couples to stay together or improving children’s well-being.ReportApril, 2013
Home visiting programs seek to improve maternal and child outcomes by supporting families with young children. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 included $1.5 billion for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, with a national evaluation required. This report describes the design of that evaluation.ReportFebruary, 2012
This report, which presents 12-month impact results from a demonstration designed to strengthen marriages among low-income married couples with children, shows that the program produced a consistent pattern of small, positive effects on multiple aspects of couples’ relationships, including measures of relationship quality, psychological and physical abuse, and adult individual psychological distress.ReportSeptember, 2010
This report seeks to answer two policy questions: whether providing subsidies to families whose incomes are just over the state’s eligibility limit affects their child care and employment outcomes, and whether extending the length of time before families must reapply for subsidies affects the receipt of subsidies and related outcomes.Report
Using Earnings Supplements to Improve Employment Retention and Advancement Programs in Texas and the United KingdomSeptember, 2010
Although much is known about how to help welfare recipients find jobs, there is less hard evidence about what can be done to help current and former recipients and other low-wage workers stay employed or advance in the labor market. This paper looks closely at one strategy — providing earnings supplements, or stipends, to current and former welfare recipients who maintain stable full-time employment — that was used at sites in Texas and in the United Kingdom.Report
Final Impacts for Twelve ModelsApril, 2010
This report presents the final implementation and impact findings for 12 programs in the national Employment Retention and Advancement project, sponsored by the federal Administration for Children and Families. These programs attempted to promote steady work and career advancement for current and former welfare recipients and other low-wage workers, most of whom were single mothers.
ProjectsErika Lundquist, Brit Henderson, Richard Hendra, Caitlin Anzelone, Sophia Sutcliffe, Shawna Anderson
Washington state is consistently ranked among the bottom states in Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA ) completion. In 2017, Washington left more than $50 million in federal student financial aid on the table. In 2019, the Washington Student Achievement Council ( WSAC ) designed an interactive chatbot called OtterBot to help more students to take...Charles Michalopoulos, Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, Emily Brennan, Emily Marano, Donna Wharton-Fields, Erika Lundquist, Rebecca Behrmann, Kureem Nugent, Yana Kusayeva, Diego Quezada
Since 2006, Responsible Fatherhood programs across the country have received federal funding administered by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These programs aim to promote positive father-child interactions, improve parents’ relationship with each other and their capacity...Richard Hendra, Stephanie Rubino, Erika Lundquist, Melissa Wavelet, Johanna Walter, Edith Yang, Mark van Dok, Audrey Yu
TANF Data Innovation ( TDI ) is a national initiative to support state, local, and tribal agencies that administer Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ( TANF ) and the federal agencies that oversee this work. This initiative aims to substantially expand the routine use, integration, and analysis of TANF and employment data to improve outcomes for families and to...Dina A. R. Israel, Michelle S. Manno, Dan Bloom, JoAnn Hsueh, Charles Michalopoulos, Virginia Knox, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Rebecca Behrmann, Samantha Wulfsohn, Douglas Phillips, Patrizia Mancini, Emily Brennan, Jillian Verrillo, Bret Barden, Kureem Nugent
Fathers play a unique role in their children’s lives and development, but some fathers face personal or societal barriers to positive involvement with their children — such as low levels of education, stigma from criminal records, declining wages for low-skilled men, or family instability. Responsible Fatherhood programs aim to improve the well-being of low-income...
Payday loans are short-term loans geared toward working-class and lower middle-class households that possess access to bank accounts and can prove sustained employment. People may use them and other alternative credit instruments to deal with unexpected expenses or simply to make ends meet between paychecks. While the loans are expensive, they may be one of the only...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Rebecca Behrmann, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Jessica Kopsic, Noemi Altman, Caroline Mage, Helen Lee
Adverse birth outcomes result in significant emotional and economic costs for families and communities. One promising avenue for helping expectant women is home visiting programs, which work with parents to promote prenatal care and improve infant health. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start ( MIHOPE -Strong Start) will evaluate the...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Carolyn Hill, Rebecca Behrmann, Ximena Portilla, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Mallory Undestad, Emily Davies, Cullen MacDowell, Marissa Strassberger, Sharon Rowser, Livia Martinez, Helen Lee
Home visiting programs operate around the country to prevent child maltreatment, improve maternal and child health outcomes, and increase school readiness. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 authorized the creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting ( MIECHV ) program, expanding federal funding of home visiting programs....Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, Electra Small, Evan Weissman, Erika Lundquist, Sharon Rowser
Home visiting has grown in recent decades as a strategy for providing preventive services to families with young children. Federal, state, local, and private funders have supported programs operating in thousands of communities around the country. Several programs are widely disseminated in the United States, with different programs focusing on slightly different...
Investments in child care by the federal government and individual states grew substantially in the years after passage of the 1996 federal welfare reform law, increasing from $3.6 billion in 1996 to $11.4 billion in 2005. As a result, many more low-income families with working parents were able to receive help in paying for child care. Yet the effectiveness of...JoAnn Hsueh, Virginia Knox, Desiree Principe Alderson, Barbara S. Goldman, Erika Lundquist, Charles Michalopoulos, Electra Small, Kristen Faucetta , Meghan McCormick, Noemi Altman, Sharon Rowser, Amy Taub, Helen Lee
The Supporting Healthy Marriage project is the first large-scale, multisite, multiyear, rigorous test of marriage education programs for low-income married couples. Supported by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ), the project is motivated by research that indicates that married adults...Richard Hendra, Cynthia Miller, Susan Scrivener, Frieda Molina, David Navarro, Barbara S. Goldman, Dan Bloom, John Martinez, Mark van Dok, Erika Lundquist, Edith Yang, Alexandra Pennington
The federal welfare overhaul of 1996 ushered in myriad policy changes aimed at getting low-income parents off public assistance and into employment. These changes — especially cash welfare’s transformation from an entitlement into a time-limited benefit contingent on work participation — have intensified the need to help low-income families become economically self-...