by Matthew Smith
The John A. Tate Distinguished Professor for Children in Need and faculty co-director of the Children’s Data Network has been named one of eight fellows joining the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Class of 2024. She will be inducted this January at the annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference in Washington, D.C.
Putnam-Hornstein is just the seventh Tar Heel inducted into the academy, joining current and former School members Gary Bowen, Mark Fraser, Matthew Owen Howard, Rebecca Macy, Mark F. Testa and Sheryl Zimmerman.
The annual selection committee chooses fellows based on their accomplishments as scholars, their social work practice impact, or their influence on policy and social good.
“I was drawn to social work as a field defined by the development of rigorous evidence with applications to the real-world” Putnam-Hornstein said. “I am truly honored to join a group of scholars and practitioners that shares this empirical orientation and whose collective work has been so impactful.”
Along with her work at UNC, Putnam-Hornstein maintains an appointment as a distinguished scholar at the University of Southern California and serves as a research specialist with University of California, Berkeley California Child Welfare Indicators Project.
Her current research focuses on the use of data and algorithmic tools to improve the accuracy and consistency of decisions made by child protection agencies. Putnam-Hornstein’s work has provided insight into where resources may be best used to better understand, and provide support for, vulnerable children and their families.
She is a previous recipient of the Forsythe Award for Child Welfare Leadership from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators and the Commissioner’s Award from the Children’s Bureau.
“We could not be prouder of Emily and her selection as a fellow into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare,” Dean Ramona Denby-Brinson said. “It’s a short list of peers that join her and her impactful work into child welfare has helped countless families across the country. We can’t wait to see the great things she’ll accomplish with the UNC School of Social Work.”
The academy is made up of high-level scholars and social work practitioners who specialize in research that finds solutions to global problems. Putnam-Hornstein is joined by colleagues from USC, University of Georgia, Case Western Reserve University, Washington University, New York University, and University of Toronto in next year’s class.
UNC School of Social Work’s associate dean for research and faculty development Sheryl Zimmerman has earned the 2024 Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Travis Albritton was honored with the Hortense K. McClinton Outstanding Faculty Staff Award.