John McMahon is a writer, editor, and facilitator dedicated to strengthening child welfare agencies and improving outcomes for families, children, and communities. A clinical associate professor at the UNC School of Social Work for nearly three decades, McMahon has helped groups and individuals enhance their skills and achieve positive change in North Carolina, the United States, and beyond.
McMahon joined the Family and Children’s Resource Program at the UNC School of Social Work in 1993. Since then, he has focused on translating current research evidence and best clinical practice into skill-building learning experiences for helping professionals, foster and adoptive parents, and kinship caregivers. A highlight of his work is a 27-year partnership with the North Carolina Division of Social Services, through which he writes, edits, and publishes Children’s Services Practice Notes and Fostering Perspectives, nationally-recognized publications for child welfare professionals and resource parents.
McMahon has also helped develop and deliver dozens of classroom and online courses and webinars on child protective services, foster care and permanency, resource family recruitment and retention, visitation, trauma-informed practice, and other topics. From the early days of his career, he has actively sought to reform and improve child welfare systems. His work in this area includes implementation support for differential response in North Carolina and providing technical assistance and consultation to help the state fulfill the requirements of several of its federal program improvement plans.
McMahon also led the creation of fosteringNC.org, a learning site for North Carolina’s foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers.