Skip to main content

School briefs

C. Joy Stewart, Ph.D. candidate and research assistant professor, was awarded a contract of more than $120,000 by the Court Improvement Program of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. Using court administrative data, Stewart and project team members, Dean Duncan (co-principal investigator), and Steve Guest and Katy Malley (investigators), will help the juvenile court analyze the experiences and outcomes for children involved in abuse, neglect, and dependency cases, including building a public website with key indicators. This project is just one example of how these researchers are using existing large datasets as well as original data collection to help improve the lives of children and families involved in human services programs.

Professor Mark Testa recently presented the opening address, “Child Welfare in the 21st Century,” at a meeting hosted by the National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) in Washington, D.C. Representatives from the U.S. Children’s Bureau, state-level leaders in child welfare, and other professionals and policymakers attended the meeting, which is organized by Selena Childs, director of strategic initiatives for the Jordan Institute for Families.

Faculty members Mimi Chapman and Lisa Zerden visited the University of Gothenburg (UG) in Sweden in September to explore the possibilities for collaboration between UNC’s School of Social Work and the UG Department of Social Work. A potential partnership could include student and faculty exchanges as well as joint research projects.

Professor Kim Strom was named associate editor for the 4th edition of the Social Worker’s Desk Reference. She will be responsible for the chapters on Theoretical Foundations and Treatment Approaches in Clinical Social Work. Strom also presented two workshops at the University of Alabama on “Ethics of Rural Practice” and “Ethical Action in a Challenging Time.”

The Family Support Network, which does so much to help families and children across North Carolina, was recently featured in a new video about their work.

Lisa Zerden, associate professor and associate dean for MSW Education, was appointed to the editorial board of the Social Work in Health Care Journal. Zerden was also recently featured in a video developed with Sage Publications for its online tutorial program. In the video, Zerden discusses behavioral health and the role of social work in integrated care.

Clinical associate professor Laurie Selz-Campbell presented, “Engaging Voices of Lived Experience and Recovery in Professional Education” at the N.C. Chapter’s National Alliance on Mental Illness conference in Raleigh.

Clinical assistant professor Michael McGuire and alumni Scott Leutgenau, MSW 2016, and Lynn Weatherbee, MSW 2018, were recently featured in video from the nonprofit Governor’s Institute promoting the work of licensed clinical addiction specialists.

School of Social Work associate professor Amy Blank Wilson and professor Kim Strom were among 90 UNC faculty members and administrators who participated in the 3-day Tar Heel Bus Tour. The bus tour covered more than 1,600 miles across North Carolina, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coast, with three buses traveling routes in the western, eastern and southeastern regions of our state. The tour offered Carolina’s faculty and leaders the opportunity to learn more about the state they serve, the issues North Carolinians care about and the people who are working to effect change. Wilson participated in the western leg of the tour, which included stops at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis and UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, among others. Strom had a seat on the bus on the eastern leg of the tour, which included stops in Nash and Edgecombe counties. During the southeastern leg of the tour, participants visited with an agency in Fayetteville partnering with Project No Rest to learn about how UNC faculty, including Dean Duncan, who leads the PNR team, are working to address human trafficking in North Carolina.

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (SIEL) recently completed training to become the newest Poverty Stoplight Hub – the second one in the United States. Representatives from Fundación Paraguaya helped to train SIEL staff, trainers from the School’s Family and Children’s Resource Program, and community partners, including officials from departments of social services in Cabarrus and Wilson counties, Salvation Army Wake County, Fostering Bright Futures with Wake Tech, and Telamon Corporation. The training focused on the Poverty Stoplight methodology, which aims to address poverty at the household, community and state levels, and how to implement it here. The Poverty Stoplight framework is driven by the assumption that families have the strengths and abilities to overcome their own challenges with support and connection to resources. Participating partner agencies will pilot test the framework in early 2020 and help the lab adapt the tool locally.