Shauna Rienks

Shauna Lea Rienks

Research Associate Professor, Senior Research Analyst, Butler Institute for Families; Director, Rsrch & Eval Methods

  • Faculty

What I do

My goal is to improve child and family well-being through culturally sensitive research/evaluation efforts that reflect individual, family, and community needs. Toward that end, I rely on rigorous research and knowledge of best practices to engage in collaborative program evaluation, consultation, and capacity building.


child welfare, children and youth, evidence-based practice/implementation science, families and family systems, gender, intervention research, K-12 education, mental and behavioral health, race and ethnicity, research methods

Professional Biography

Shauna Rienks, PhD, is a research associate professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and a senior research analyst at the Butler Institute for Families. She is an expert in child welfare workforce development, child development, family relationships and well-being across the lifespan, and social determinants of health.

Rienks has over 15 years of experience at the national, state, and local levels in research and evaluation, with strengths in research design, development and testing of measurement tools, qualitative and quantitative data analyses, and research and evaluation consulting and capacity-building. She has led several federally funded longitudinal studies, including an examination of the impact of adverse childhood experiences on children's health, organization-level integration of services, early literacy programming, community need for services, and the development of a 360 leadership assessment and feedback process for child welfare staff that has been widely adopted.


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Denver, 2007
  • MA, Developmental Psychology, University of Denver, 2005
  • BA, Psychology, Princeton University, 1995

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Certified Mediator


Rienks, S. L., Reed, D., Leake, R., & Grenier, A. (2020). 360-degree feedback and coaching for successful leadership development in child welfare. Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, D.C.: Society for Social Work and Research.
Rienks, S. L., Leake, R., He, A. S. J., & deGuzman, A. (2019). Do you see what I see? The importance of taking a multisource, mixed-methods approach to assessing organizational health. Children's Bureau's National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit. Washington, DC.
Rienks, S. L., Leake, R., & deGuzman, A. (2018). Development of a multidimensional approach to assessing organizational health. Society for Social Work and Research. Washington, DC.
de Guzman, A., Rienks, S. L., & Leake, R. (2017). Predictors of readiness for child welfare for tribal and nontribal social work students. Society for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, LA.
McCrae, J. S., Rienks, S. L., & Hasenack, J. (2016). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Children's Complex Health Concerns. 21st International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma. San Diego, CA.


  • Best Mixed Methods Article, Journal of Social Work Education