Wood, Leila_square

Leila Wood, PhD, MSSW

Director of Evaluation for the Center for Violence Prevention

School of Nursing

Leila Wood, PhD, MSSW (she/her) is a Professor at the Center for Violence Prevention, School of Nursing, at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Dr. Wood is a social work researcher with a PhD and BSW from Indiana University and a MSSW from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Wood’s program of research focuses on community and college-campus based interpersonal violence intervention and prevention approaches and the health impacts of interpersonal violence, specifically intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault. This includes assessing the impact of residential and non-residential advocacy (support) services on the prevention of future violence and survivor well-being; evaluations of IPV housing; studies on the extent and impact of sexual assault, IPV, stalking and sexual harassment on college campuses, and a statewide assessment of children’s services in IPV agencies. Dr. Wood focuses her work across the lifespan, with a focus on adults and children at risk for IPV and sexual assault. She is a mixed methods researcher with expertise in qualitative methods. Dr. Wood uses collaborative research models with community-based partners to meet the research and evaluation needs of the practice and policy communities across the state. Dr. Wood has extensive social work practice experience working survivors of IPV and sexual assault. Her work is funded by the National Institute on Justice and the Criminal Justice Division, State of Texas.

Research Interests:

  • Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault Interventions
  • Violence, Trauma and Health Disparities
  • Substance Misuse/Abuse and Violence
  • Violence Prevention
  • Qualitative methods
  • Program Evaluation

Recent projects include:

  1. The Texas Council on Family Violence State Plan: Understanding the Experiences and Health and Service Needs of Survivors using Family Violence Services
  2. Evaluation of Campus-based Advocacy Services
  3. National Institute of Justice/ Office for Victims of Crime
  4. ETA: Evaluation of Technology-based Advocacy Services

Evaluation of Residential Services at Fort Bend Women’s Center

The Fort Bend Health Study is an evaluation of the residential services provided to survivors by Fort Bend Women’s Center (FBWC). Fort Bend Women’s Center offers a variety of services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children to Ft. Bend county and the broader Houston area. Secure, affordable, and stable housing is essential for everyone, but particularly for survivors as they seek safety, address trauma, and regain independence. Using a collaborative framework between the Center for Violence Prevention and the Fort Bend Women’s Center, this study is focused on understanding how providing essential residential services support survivors’ safety, address needs, and improve overall well-being.

This project is evaluating the process and outcomes of three residential services provided by FBWC, emergency shelter, short-term housing (through rapid rehousing vouchers), and long-term housing. The needs of FBWC’s residential service users are assessed using mixed-methods, longitudinal, in-depth interviews and surveys, and the needs of staff, through open-ended individual interviews.

Specific project questions include:

  1. What are service users (past and current) and staff member’s perceptions of the needs of survivors and staff in residential services and barriers to achieving goals?
  2. What are the components of the Ft. Bend Model of service?
  3. What is the process of providing residential services to family violence survivors at FBWC?
  4. What is the initial impact of FBWC’s residential programs on service users’ safety, housing and economic stability, and well-being (including physical and mental health and substance misuse)

For more information, contact Leila Wood at leiwood@utmb.edu or Project Manager, Maggy McGiffert at mmmcgiff@utmb.edu