Marlene Matarese

Associate Research Professor

Marlene Matarese, PhD, is Deputy Director at Innovations Institute and Associate Research Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Marlene has over 20 years of experience working at the individual, county, state, and national levels. She specializes in content focused on evidence-based and evidence-informed intervention design; and best practices in implementation science within the context of the public child-, youth-, and family-serving systems as well as LGBTQ+/sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, workforce development; and systems of care. The focus of her work has been improving access to and the quality of systems and services for children and youth with public system involvement. Marlene is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ+ Children and Youth in Foster Care, and the National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification funded by the Children’s Bureau. She is also PI for the National Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity, funded by SAMHSA. Marlene serves as PI on other national, large-scale initiatives including the design, implementation, and evaluation of numerous best practices. Her prior professional experiences include providing technical assistance nationally on youth involvement and, in partnership with a group of young people, organized and developed Youth MOVE National. She continues to champion the meaningful inclusion of youth in all levels of system design. Marlene also brings years of experience working directly with youth and their families as a care coordinator, clinician, personal counselor, and aide for youth with behavioral health needs. She holds her PhD from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and her MSW and BA from Rutgers.

marlene matarese headshot
Contact Information
Research Interests
  • Child Welfare Juvenile Justice and Behavioral Health Systems
  • Family Reunification in Child Welfare
  • Implementation Science
  • Intervention Design and Evidence Based Practices
  • LGBTQ+ Community