Supervision as Collaboration in the Human Services: Building a Learning Culture


Edited by: Michael J. Austin & Karen M. Hopkins

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Introduction

    Part II: The Interactional Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    Part III: The Managerial Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    Part IV: The Analytic Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    Part V: Supervision in Different Fields of Practice

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    This textbook focuses on the role of supervision in the context of building a learning culture in human service agencies. Although firmly grounded in past efforts to define the principles and practices of supervision in the human services (Bruce & Austin, 2000), it seeks to chart new territory that reflects the changing nature of organizational life in human service organizations. It is comprehensive in its efforts to link old and new concepts of supervision, move beyond core skills, and identify new skills related to organizational change, such as collaborating with staff and building learning cultures. It approaches human services supervision across fields of practice using a learning organization framework that links core supervisory skills with knowledge-based transformational skills.

    This book is written for the following audiences:

    • Students taking courses in supervision in professional programs related to social work, counseling, human development, and other human service professions at the graduate and undergraduate levels
    • Practitioners occupying supervisory or other management positions in human service agencies, including child welfare, adult services, mental health services, aging services, and public health services
    • Clinicians who aspire to be supervisors, who have been encouraged to become supervisors, or who want to become more active in leadership activities and in helping their agencies reach their goals
    • Staff development departments in human service agencies and continuing education units in universities that train supervisors
    • Middle and senior managers interested in developing a learning organization with those staff who report directly to them and supporting front-line supervisors seeking to create a learning culture among staff.

    The concepts and practices described in this textbook are applicable to current supervisors and future supervisors across the human services field. In a national study of social workers’ job tasks, it was found that supervisors and middle managers performed essentially similar tasks (131 individual tasks in 18 task clusters) regardless of the field of practice or employment setting. Supervisors and middle managers also appeared to move from one field to another, providing further evidence that supervisory tasks are common across fields of practice (Raymond, Teare, & Atherton, 1996). This book is designed to meet the needs of practitioners who are preparing for the role of supervisor in the human services and for experienced first-level supervisors, as well as program managers. The concepts and practices are relevant to managers at every level of the organization, including team leaders who are interested in strengthening their middle-management skills.

    As we go to press, the human services field is in the midst of one of the most extensive budget crises since the cutbacks of the early 1980s. The federal budget surplus of just a few years ago is gone, replaced by significant deficits caused by a sluggish economy and substantial expenditures related to terrorism at home and abroad. Across the country, state and county governments are also suffering from massive budget deficits that are and will be affecting the human services in the years to come.

    So, how realistic is it to be discussing a new approach to supervision in the midst of these economic crises? The answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is rooted in the realization that the pressure to find more effective and accountable approaches to delivering human services has been emerging for quite some time (well before the current economic crisis). Whether we are in the midst of good economic times or bad, it is increasingly clear to agency administrators and public officials that we need to improve the way we do business in the human services.

    The complex answer is linked to the philosophy that crises produce opportunities—in this case, opportunities to develop new ways of improving services and promoting staff empowerment. Changing the way we do business requires a shift in thinking from some of the old ways of delivering human services to some new ways. One of these new ways involves building a new culture inside our human service organizations; namely, a learning culture. Often it is in the most difficult of times that agencies, by necessity, take the opportunity to review and renew themselves, learn what works and what does not work, and collaboratively plan for change.

    The recent implementation of welfare reform provides a useful illustration for addressing the complex question of changing the way we do business. The federal welfare reform legislation was developed and passed in the good economic times of the mid-1990s. It called for a radical new approach to delivering welfare-to-work services. Local and state human service organizations engaged in substantial restructuring of their operating systems and worker processes to implement the new legislation. It quickly became apparent that line staff would need assistance and retraining to make the transition from eligibility determination (based on the old methods that relied on thick policy manuals) to employability assessment and facilitation (based on outreach to businesses and group processes related to job clubs and job preparation). Staff members were quickly retrained to address the demands of new policy, but in the process, it became apparent that agencies needed to modify their old bureaucratic culture and develop a more open, learning culture that allowed for the importing of ideas and experiences from other sectors in our society. Supervisors found themselves on the front line of organizational change. The creative ones seized the opportunity to try new approaches, including that of encouraging nonprofit, community-based organizations to assist, under contract, with service delivery, as well as to provide staff with the support needed to learn new ways of delivering services.

    This textbook is all about creative supervisors who are interested in the continuous learning needed to foster ongoing quality improvement in the provision of human services. It seeks to capture the key ingredients (knowledge, skills, and values) of effective supervisory practice that are linked to promoting a learning culture inside and outside the human service agency.

    Overview of the Chapters

    This book was designed to feature the key aspects of a learning organization, the process of organizational learning, and the roles that supervisors can play in transforming traditional human service environments into learning environments.

    Part I: Introduction

    Chapters 1, “The Changing Nature of Human Services and Supervision,” describes these concepts and practices within the context of the changing nature of direct service work, change in human services agencies, and the contemporary realities of supervision. Chapter 2, “Defining the Learning Organization,” builds on Chapter 1 by providing the framework used to guide the reader in our exploration of supervisory practice within the context of a learning organization. Although many supervisors work in human service agencies that might not be considered learning organizations, the use of the knowledge and skills described in this book should provide the tools readers may use to begin to transform units within their agency into elements of a learning organization.

    Part II: The Interactional Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    The supervision of staff and the nurturing of a learning environment are all about relationships. The supervisor-supervisee relationship requires ongoing attention if effective communications and understanding are to be built and maintained. Similarly, the organization's learning environment is composed of two or more staff members that seek to learn from each other, from other units in the organization, and from those outside the organization. The chapters in Part II feature relationship building (chapter 3), fostering effective interpersonal relations (chapter 4), promoting culturally competent practice (chapter 5), fostering collaboration (chapter 6), linking clinical and supervisory practice (chapter 7), using practice guidelines to enhance supervisor-supervisee communications (chapter 8), exploring ethics to clarify expectations (chapter 9), and the role of student supervision as one of the first supervisory relationship-building experiences (chapter 10).

    Part III: The Managerial Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    Supervisory practice is all about managing, that is, working for the interests of clients, the interests of staff, the interests of the organization, and the collective interests of a learning organization. Addressing these domains requires skill and vision. The chapters in Part III feature those knowledge and skill areas related to the managerial nature of supervision in a learning organization: defining and promoting a learning culture (chapter 11), identifying the array of managerial roles (chapter 12), exploring supervisory leadership (chapter 13), engaging in experimentation and risk taking (chapter 14), developing the talents of staff and unleashing their creativity (chapter 15), helping staff transfer learning from shared experiences and training experiences (chapter 16), learning from assessing organizational performance (chapter 17), and using coaching strategies to empower staff and improve performance (chapter 18).

    Part IV: The Analytic Nature of Supervision in a Learning Organization

    Beyond the interpersonal skills of a supervisor, there is a set of analytic skills needed to help staff understand the impact of the organization's services on clients and staff. Information is power in human service organizations and supervisors are strategically located in middle management to be able to use and interpret information coming from clients and staff, as well as from top management and the larger community in which the services are provided. Information gathering and interpreting are critical analytic skills needed by supervisors in an age of information systems and the changing nature of practice. Therefore, the chapters in Part IV focus on the use of data and include exploring the use of an agency policy on supervision (chapter 19), helping staff gather and interpret client and program data (chapter 20), scanning the environment for information to place client needs and services in a broader context (chapter 21), searching for promising or best practices to improve staff and agency performance (chapter 22), and stepping back to identify areas of future research on supervision in the context of a learning organization (chapter 23).

    Part V: Supervision in Different Fields of Practice

    Context is everything. Understanding the different and unique demands placed upon supervisors in a variety of human service organizations is the focus of this final section of the book. It features the major domains of human service practice, related to supervision in aging services (chapter 24), child welfare (chapter 25), health and mental health services (chapter 26), and welfare-to-work services (chapter 27). Each organizational setting provides different challenges for supervisors seeking to promote a learning environment. It is interesting to note how these four areas of practice are similar and different. Each domain is significantly affected by public policies and standards of care. Each area of practice responds to different client populations, and yet they all relate to some aspect of individual and family well-being. In the final analysis, if agency supervisors and managers are not helping staff engage in life-long learning, client services are bound to suffer, and our human service organizations can quickly become out of touch with the changing needs of clients and their communities.

    Each chapter in the book identifies the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competence in a particular area of supervisory practice. Practice principles and case illustrations are reflected throughout each chapter to help the reader apply new learning to a specific agency situation through the use of discussion questions. For readers interested in learning more about a particular topic, a list of references is provided at the end of each chapter.

    The coeditors of this volume have attempted to map a journey for supervisors and soon-to-be supervisors over new terrain related to the culture of learning in human service organizations. We have selected the most talented guides, in the form of chapter authors, to take us on this journey. We want to acknowledge their valuable contribution and thank them for the trust that they had in our vision and for their expertise and immense creativity. For those of you who complete the journey into supervision as a collaborative process, we hope that you will give us your feedback so that we can strengthen future editions. We also hope that, as a result of reading this book, you will be challenged to create human service environments conducive to learning and growing.

    Michael J.AustinUniversity of California,
    Karen M.HopkinsUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore
    Bruce, E., & Austin, M. (2000). Social work supervision: Assessing the past and mapping the future. Clinical Supervisor, 19(2), 85–107.
    Raymond, G., Teare, R., & Atherton, C. (1996). Do management tasks differ by field of practice?Administration in Social Work, 20, 17–30.
  • About the Editors

    Michael J. Austin, PhD, is Professor of Management and Planning at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, and cochair of Management and Planning Specialization. He teaches Management Practice, Dynamics of Communities, Groups and Organizations, Macro Generalist Practice, and Supervision. Over the past 35 years, he has authored 15 books, as well as numerous articles and research monographs. He is Staff Director of the Bay Area Social Services Consortium, which operates an executive development program, research response team, and policy implementation and promising practices program. He consults throughout the country in the area of managerial team building, organizational restructuring, and strategic planning for nonprofit organizations (with a special focus on Jewish communal organizations). He received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1970 and an MSW from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966.

    Karen M. Hopkins, PhD, is Associate Professor of Management at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and cochair of Management and Community Organization Concentration. She teaches graduate courses in Program Management, Human Resource Management, and Research in Management and Community Practice. She also provides management training and consultation to human service organizations and is a peer reviewer for standards of excellence certification in the nonprofit sector. Her research and publications focus on supervisory and management practices, work-life issues, organizational citizenship, and supervisor intervention with troubled workers across different work settings. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and an MSW from the University of Pittsburgh.

    About the Contributors

    Mary H. Beck, LMSW, is Director of Adolescent Intervention and Treatment Services for the Council on Alcohol and Drugs, Houston. In this position, she is responsible for the development, management, supervision, coordination, and evaluation of five programs that provide intervention and treatment services to adolescents in the Greater Houston community. Prior to joining the council, she served as Director of the Center for Organizational Research and Effectiveness at the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work. She has more than 10 years of experience, focused on administration of youth-serving organizations, research, and organization development, specifically in the nonprofit sector. She earned her master's degree in social work in 1998 from the University of Houston and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1990.

    Angela L. Bies, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Government and Public Service at the Bush School, Texas A & M University, where she provides leadership on the school's nonprofit studies curriculum, capstone research projects, and public service initiatives. Her research focuses on nongovernmental and educational development, reform, and accountability, particularly in comparative perspective. Prior to her faculty post, she served in domestic and international nonprofit executive and evaluation roles.

    David Cherin, PhD, MSW, is Associate Professor and Director of the MSW program and Department of Social Work at California State University, Bakersfield. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Long Beach State and California State University, Long Beach, in 1969 and 1993, respectively. In between, he worked more than 20 years as a hospital administrator for an investor-owned health-care company. Graduating in 1996 with a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California, he taught there for 3 years and then became part of the faculty at the University of Washington's School of Social Work in Seattle. He received a SOROS Leadership in Social Work award on his project “Death in America.” Articles of his on end-of-life care have recently appeared in the Journal of Palliative Medicine and the Journal of the Gerontological Society of America.

    Burton J. Cohen, PhD, is a planning and organizational consultant and action researcher. His work has focused on the design and management of public service organizations, public-private partnerships, and complex systems of services, primarily in the areas of child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and community-based prevention. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, he was a research associate at the Fels Center of Government and the Management and Behavioral Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Cornell University and a PhD in social systems science from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Carol S. Cohen, DSW, is Associate Professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work in New York. Her work in the areas of agency-based practice, group work, supervision, and community development has been published and disseminated nationally and internationally. Among her most recent publications is the book Group Work Education in the Field (with Julianne Wayne). She is presently Chair of the Social Work Board of New York State. Before joining the academic ranks, she held numerous positions with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens and maintains strong ties with their programs, collaborating on training and evaluation projects.

    Connie Saltz Corley, PhD, LCSW, is Professor, School of Social Work, and Associate Director for Research, Edward R. Roybal Institute for Applied Gerontology at California State University, Los Angeles. Her publications have spanned the fields of geriatrics and gerontology, social work, rehabilitation, substance abuse, and spirituality. She has been a recipient of grant funds from the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Council on Social Work Education/John A. Hartford Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles Department on Aging. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

    Kathleen Holtz Deal, MSW, DSW, is Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore. Her clinical experience includes treatment, consultation, and supervision in the areas of community mental health and addictions. Her research interests center on social work education, including the professional development of MSW students and the educational needs of field instructors.

    Kathleen Coulborn Faller, PhD, ACSW, DCSW, is Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She is Director of the Family Assessment Clinic, a multidisciplinary team that evaluates complex child maltreatment cases and provides treatment. She is also the Principal Investigator on four research projects: the Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Training Program, the Public Child Welfare Supervisor Training Program, the Hasbro Early Assessment Project, and Recruitment and Retention of Child Welfare Employees. She has authored seven books, including Maltreatment in Early Childhood: Tools for Research-based Intervention (2000) and Understanding and Assessing Child Sexual Maltreatment (2nd ed., Sage, 2003), as well as approximately 50 research and clinical articles.

    Kyle Farmbry, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at San Diego State University. He has also served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland, and Benxi University in Benxi, China. His current research interests are in the areas of intersectoral dynamics, entrepreneurial development, and comparative public administration. In addition to teaching, he has served as a consultant to public, private, and nonprofit organizations. He completed his PhD in the field of public administration, with a concentration in urban development, at George Washington University.

    Tamara L. Kaiser, PhD, LICSW, LMFT, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Director of the Supervision Institute at the College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of Supervisory Relationships: Exploring the Human Element (1997) and coproducer of the training videotape Challenges in Cross Cultural Supervision (2000). She teaches graduate courses on supervision and presents on the topic both locally and nationally. She is also in private practice in St. Paul, where she provides direct psychotherapy to individuals and families and supervision and consultation to practitioners and agencies.

    Toba Schwaber Kerson, PhD, DWS, is Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. She is the author of several books, including Boundary Spanning: An Ecological Interpretation of Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health Systems (2002) and Social Work in Health Settings: Practice in Context (1997). She is also on the editorial boards of Women & Aging, Social Work in Mental Health, and Arete and is the book review editor of Social Work in Health Care.

    Carolyn Knight, PhD, is Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she teaches social work methods. She has more than 20 years of practice experience and continues to provide individual and group treatment to adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and group treatment to bereaved children. She conducts research and publishes in the area of field education and the skills associated with teaching social work practice. She is the author of numerous articles and a book on working with adult survivors of sexual abuse, Group Treatment with Adults Who Were Sexually Abused in Childhood (1996). She frequently presents workshops on her work with adult survivors.

    Mark Krueger, PhD, is Professor of Youth Work at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. He is also Founder and Director of the Youth Work Learning Center, an international research and education center for youth workers. His publications include nine books and dozens of articles about youth work practice and organizational development. He is a past president of the national organization of youth work practitioners and remains an active participant in the effort to professionalize the field. Much of his research, writing, and teaching stems from his early experiences as a child and youth care worker in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed boys.

    Jean Kantambu Latting, PhD, is Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston. As a teacher, researcher, and organizational consultant, Jean specializes in helping people examine and change their systems, relationships, and perceptions so that they might better accomplish their goals. She has published more than 20 book chapters and articles in professional journals on leadership, organizational change, and workforce diversity. Prior to joining the University of Houston, she held various directorship and management positions. She is a recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Faculty Award, given by the University of Houston Alumni Association.

    Anna R. McPhatter, PhD, LCSW, is Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Mental Health, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois—Chicago, and her research and publications focus on culturally competent practice with families and children. She was a contributing author in and the coeditor of a special issue on cultural competence in the Journal of Child Welfare (2003). She conducts ongoing training for human and social service organizations and educational institutions on cultural diversity.

    Barbara Meddin, PhD, is Senior Professional Officer, Social Work (Principal Social Worker) for the Department of Community Development, Perth, Western Australia. Educated in the United States, she holds a BA from the University of Georgia, an MSW from the University of Kentucky, and a PhD from the University of Illinois. She has more than 30 years of experience as a social worker working in the fields of child protection, domestic violence, corrections, education, economic security, and juvenile services. Widely published in both the United States and Australia, she has also worked extensively in research and evaluation, as well as in policy development, and was the project officer who authored the supervision policy described in chapter 19.

    William Meezan, DSW, is the Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, where he is currently directing an evaluation of a managed care approach to the delivery of foster care services in Detroit. He has coauthored four books and coedited four other volumes in the field of child welfare, and his work has appeared in most major social work journals. He is the recipient of the Society for Social Work Research's Outstanding Research Award, and he has served as both a Congressional Science Fellow and a senior Fulbright scholar in Lithuania.

    Michelle-Marie Mendez is an attorney with experience in child welfare law, government, and human rights. She is a graduate of Northeastern Law School and Brown University She served as Legal Research Assistant in the University of Michigan Law School and is currently working for Prevent Child Abuse America's state chapter in Massachuetts.

    David Menefee, PhD, is Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Administration Concentration at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York. He earned his PhD in social welfare administration from the University of Washington in 1990. His expertise is in organizational effectiveness, development, and research. For the last 20 years, he has taught courses in nonprofit management and has planned and managed research and change interventions for human service agencies. His current research involves evaluating the impact of managerial practices on service effectiveness in human services. He has published in a variety of human services management journals since 1989.

    Patricia Miller is Director of Early Childhood Services at Southwest Counseling and Development Services in Detroit, Michigan. She received her BA from Oakland University and her MSW from Wayne State University. She and Diane Vinokur-Kaplan previously collaborated in writing a chapter on organizational life cycles in mental health services for Cases in Macro Social Work Practice (Fauri et al., eds.; 2nd ed., 2004).

    Carlton E. Munson, PhD, MSW, is Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and serves as Director of the Washington Area Supervision Institute at Woodstock Forest. He has held faculty appointments at Shepherd College, Catholic University of America, University of Houston, and Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has published 7 books and 75 journal articles and book chapters. His Handbook of Clinical Social Work Supervision (3rd ed., 2002), The Mental Health Diagnostic Desk Reference: Visuals and More for Understanding the DSM-IV-TR, (2nd ed., 2002), Social Work with Families (1979), and Social Work Supervision (1979) have been widely adopted as texts in the United States and abroad; his newest book, Therapy for Traumatized Children: The Child's Perspective, is scheduled for publication in 2004. He is the founding editor of The Clinical Supervisor, an interdisciplinary journal devoted to supervision research. A clinician-scientist whose practice and research activity focuses on trauma and loss in children, he has been doing child intervention and conducting research on trauma in children and adolescents, including international child abduction assessments and expert witness testimony, since 1964, and currently serves as consultant to a number of child treatment facilities. In 2000, he was the clinician in a precedent-setting Maryland Court of Appeals case that affirmed the qualifications of licensed clinical social workers to perform DSM-IV-TR diagnosis and to testify as experts.

    Tom Packard, DSW, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at San Diego State University. His teaching specialties are administration and organization theory. Prior to entering teaching, he was the director of two not-for-profit human services organizations. He has been an organization development consultant for more than 20 years, specializing in government and not-for-profit organizations ranging in size from 30 to 850 employees. He received his doctorate in social welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also studied at the Center for Quality of Working Life. His current research interests include organizational change, cutback management, program design and implementation, and organization design.

    Rebecca A. Proehl, PhD, is Professor of Management at Saint Mary's College of California. Prior to her career in higher education, she worked as a social worker and administrator with emotionally disturbed children, delinquent adolescents, Vietnam-era veterans, and welfare recipients. She is the author of Organizational Change in the Human Services (2001), as well as numerous articles on cross-functional teams. She has a master's degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, in the field of organizational psychology.

    Frederic G. Reamer, PhD, is Professor in the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College. His research and teaching focus on social policy, criminal justice, research methods, and professional ethics. He chaired the task force that wrote the code of ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers. His most recent books include Social Work Malpractice and Liability (2003), Tangled Relationships: Boundary Issues in the Helping Professions (2001), The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk-management Tool (2001), and Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice (2003).

    Lena T. Rodriguez, PhD, is Assistant Professor at San Diego State University. She earned her doctorate in business from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. She has an MPA in human resource management and a BS in business management from Arizona State University. Her teaching areas include entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, management, and public administration. Her research interests include small business management, family business, minority entrepreneurship, and social support. She was recently awarded the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Research Award by the Allied Academy of Entrepreneurship.

    Elbert Siegel, DSW, LCSW, is Professor of Social Work and former Director of the social work program at Southern Connecticut State University. He was a founding member of the MSW program there and developed the gerontology specialization for the graduate program. His academic interests have been curriculum and program development, distance learning in higher education, services to immigrants and refugees, services to the aging, and management issues in social welfare. He has been a recipient of a John A. Hartford Geroenrichment Grant. Prior to his academic career, he was a group worker and division head at two community centers, directed summer camps, and administered an agency serving immigrants and refugees.

    Brenda Solomon, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Vermont. Her research and publications focus on the construction of work and family, the production of women workers, intersections of oppression, and the everyday practices of front-line workers in welfare-to-work, child welfare, and schools. Some of her publications related to the topic of this book include “The Ins and Outs of Welfare-to-Work: Women as They Enter and Exit a Nursing Assistant Employment and Training Program” (Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 2001); “A ‘Know It All’ with a ‘Pet Peeve’ Meets ‘Underdogs’ Who ‘Let Her Have It’: Producing Low-Waged Women Workers in a Welfare-to-Work Training Program,” (Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, in press), and “A Social Constructionist Approach to Theorizing Child Welfare: Considering Attachment Theory and Ways to Reconstruct Practice,” (Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 2002).

    Jeanette Takamura, Ph.D, was named as Columbia University's 17th dean of its 103-year-old School of Social Work in May 2002. Dr. Takamura was Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1997–2001. She holds the Edward R. Roybal Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology and Public Service at California State University at Los Angeles. Previously, Dr. Takamura was first deputy (chief operating officer) of health for the State of Hawaii's Department of Health and the director of the State Executive Office on Aging. Prior to working in government, Dr. Takamura held faculty and administrative appointments in higher education at the University of Hawaii, Manoa's School of Social Work, and the director of the College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare, Health Team Development Program. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a principal of the Council for Excellence in Government, vice president of the Older Women's League, and president-elect of the American Society on Aging. Dr. Takamura earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in social work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University.

    John Tropman, PhD, is Professor of Social Work and Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management at the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in executive leadership, organizational behavior, program design, and social values and social policy. He has authored and edited over 30 books, including Do Americans Hate the Poor, Managing Ideas in the Creating Organization, The Total Compensation Solution, and Making Meetings Work. He coedited the successful book series “Strategies of Community Practice” and “Tactics of Community Practice.” He is currently working on a project analyzing the speeches of the 110 presidents of the National Conference of Social Welfare.

    Ming-Sum Tsui, PhD, is Senior Lecturer, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has more than 20 years of experience in practicing and teaching supervision. He received his PhD in social work at the University of Toronto, and his research interests include supervision, human service management, the theory and practice of social work, and substance abuse. He has published ten books, including Social Work Supervision: Contexts and Concepts (Sage, 2004) and more than 50 journal articles and research papers. He is currently serving as editor or expert reviewer for 15 academic journals.

    Frank E. Vandervort is Program Manager of the Michigan Child Welfare Law Resource Center at the University of Michigan Law School and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. He is a former Chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Children's Law Section, and in 2001, he served as President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.

    Diane Vinokur-Kaplan is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and Director of the University of Michigan Nonprofit and Public Management Center. She received her BA (cum laude) from Oberlin College and her MSW (social policy), MA (sociology), and PhD (social work and sociology) from the University of Michigan. Her most recent research focuses on the benefits and challenges of colocating nonprofit organizations (see and She serves on the editorial or advisory boards of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Administration in Social Work, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

    Deborah Willis, MSEd, MSW, has worked more than 30 years in the human service field, both as a practitioner and as an evaluator, delivering behavioral prevention services to children and families in New York, teaching in Queens and the South Bronx, conducting research on juvenile justice programs across the country, helping state systems to develop new ways of delivering services, and as an evaluator of child welfare services in Kent County, Michigan. Her MSEd is from Northern Illinois University and her MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She is currently a doctoral candidate in social work and sociology at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She joined the Guidance Center as the Director of the Center for Excellence in September 2003 and will serve as the liaison between the University of Michigan and the Guidance Center. She will also direct research and training services at the Guidance Center.

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