Joelle Ruben, MSW


In these challenging fiscal times, policymakers want up-to-date information on how resources are being used to impact child outcomes. However, there is a lack of accessible and comprehensive data analysis that can be used to inform decision-making and public policy. Joelle worked with Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) to change this reality. Her fellowship addressed several projects in order to provide useful data analysis and advance public policy reforms designed to improve outcomes for Pennsylvania’s children and families.

Joelle's project partially focused on the implementation of optional youth provisions within the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. These provisions reflect a statewide opportunity for Pennsylvania to extend foster care, as well as adoption and guardianship subsidies for youth until age 21 and to permit foster care re-entry. Additionally, she reviewed and analyzed new sources of in-home services data to help PPC more fully present core child welfare system data elements to policymakers, media and stakeholders. Joelle also analyze county and state expenditure data in order to connect the use of resources with child welfare practices and outcomes.

Joelle has worked on behalf of vulnerable children both in this country and abroad. Her experience includes international adoption advocacy, as well as analysis with the U.S. Department of State on international parental child abductions. Previously, she researched child welfare trends and analyzed existing child welfare legislation with The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Joelle received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. She also earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and international studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

On July 18th, 2016, Joelle began her new position as a Senior Communications Associate at James Bell Associates—a firm dedicated to research and evaluation of health and human services across the country.

Previously, Joelle lived in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and worked as a managing editor at JBS International. In that role, she oversaw content development for the National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth—a federal information hub that shares best practices and research with youth workers—and the Family and Youth Services Bureau.