Mary Elizabeth Collins


Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Chair and Professor, Social Welfare Policy
Coordinator, Dual Degree Program in Social Work and Theology
Phone: 617-353-3748

Download Dr. Collins’ CV





BA (criminal justice), University of Illinois – Chicago
MA (social work), University of Chicago
PhD (social work), University of Chicago
Postdoctoral (social work), University of Michigan

Courses Taught

WP700   Social Welfare Policy I
WP701   Social Welfare Policy II
WP707   Social Welfare Policy and Programs in Children
WP900   Social Program Analysis and Evaluation

Scholarly and Practice Interests

Child welfare policy, transition to adulthood for vulnerable youth; compassion in social policy, evaluation of social services

Collins, M.E.  (2015). Macro perspectives on youths aging out of foster care.  Washington DC:  NASW Press.

Ha, Y., Collins, M.E., and Martino, D.  (2015).  Child care burden and risk of child maltreatment among low-income working families.  Children and Youth Services Review, 59, 19-27.

Collins, M.E., Garlington, S., and Cooney, K.  (2015).  Relieving human suffering:  Compassion in social policy.  Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 48, 1, 95-120.

Collins, M.E. (2014).  Promoting youth development and transitional living services for youth moving from foster care to adulthood.  In, G. Mallon and P. Hess (Eds.) Child Welfare for the 21st Century:  A Handbook of Children, Youth, and Family Services: Practices, Policies, and Programs (2nd Edition). Columbia University Press.

Collins, M.E. and McLaughlin, D.  (2014).  Potential for adolescent-focused group work in the Vietnam context.  Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies: An International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care, DOI: 10.1080/17450128.2014.940414

Collins, M.E., Cooney, K., and Garlington, S.  (2012).  Compassion in contemporary social policy: Applications of virtue theory.  Journal of Social Policy, 41 (2), 251-269.

Collins, M.E. and Ward, R.L. (2011).  Services and outcomes for transition-age foster care youth:  Youths’ perspectives.  Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 6 (2), 157-165.

Collins, M.E. and Curtis, M.  (2011).  Conceptualizing housing careers for vulnerable youths: Implications for policy.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81 (3), 390-400.

Collins, M.E., Spencer, R., and Ward, R. (2010).  Supporting youth in the transition from foster care:  Formal and informal connections.  Child Welfare, 89, 1, 125-143.

Collins, M.E. and Clay, C.M.  (2009).  Influencing policy for youth transitioning from care:  Defining problems, crafting solutions, and assessing politics.  Children and Youth Services Review, 31 (7), 743-751.

Collins, M.E., Hyun Kim, S., Clay, C., and Perlstein, J.  (2009).  Addressing issues of globalization in the training of public child welfare workers:  Lessons from a training program in the United States.  International Social Work, 52 (1), 72-83.

Collins, M.E., Amodeo, M. and Clay, C.  (2008).  Planning and evaluating child welfare training projects:  Working toward a comprehensive conceptual model.  Child Welfare, 87 (5), 69-86.

Collins, M.E. and Pinkerton, J.  (2008).  The policy context of leaving care services:  A case study of Northern Ireland.  Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 1279-1288.

Collins, M.E., Paris, R., and Ward, R.  (2008).  The permanence of family ties:  Implications for youth transitioning from foster care.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78 (1), 54-62.

Collins, M.E., Amodeo, M., and Clay, C.M.  (2007). Training as a factor in policy implementation:  Lessons from a national evaluation of child welfare training.  Children and Youth Services Review, 29, 1487-1502.

Collins, M.E. and Mowbray, C.T.  (2005). Higher education and psychiatric disabilities: National survey of campus disability services.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75 (2), 304-315.

Collins, M.E.  (2004).  Enhancing services to youths leaving foster care:  Analysis of recent legislation and its potential impact.  Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 1051-1065.

Collins, M.E.  (2001).  Transition to adulthood for vulnerable youth: A review of research and implications for policy.  Social Service Review, 75 (2), 271-291.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., & Gecker, W.  (2015). Youth voice in municipal government: Understanding the roles and impacts of youth councils.  Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 37th Annual Fall Research Conference.  Miami, FL.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., & Gecker, W.  (2015). Engaging young people in policy practice:   The potential role of youth councils.  Policy Conference 2.0: Social Work as Action–Confronting Injustice.  Austin, TX.

Collins, M.E.  (2014).   Human trafficking in Viet Nam.  Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting.  Tampa, FL.

Collins, M.E. and Augsberger, A. (2014).  Cultural considerations for youth aging out of foster care.  Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development.  Melbourne, Australia.

Collins, M.E. and Garlington, S.  (2013).  Virtue and public policy:  A historical analysis.  Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting.  San Antonio, TX.

Collins, M.E. (2014).  Policy and advocacy to address challenges for homeless students in transition on post-secondary campuses.  Invited panelist for University of Massachusetts Boston U-ACCESS Conference.

Collins, M.E. and Bùi Thị Thanh T.  (2012). A global perspective on assisting youth leaving care:  Implications for Vietnam.  International Conference on Social Work and Social Policy.  Hanoi, Vietnam.

Collins, M. E.  (2011).  Professional education and workforce development:  Core principles for constructing social work training.  Plenary Presentation – 14th World Social Work Day Conference.  Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam:  University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Viet Nam National University.

Collins, M.E. and Cooney, K.  (2010). Finding a lost virtue:  Observing compassion in social policy and programs.  Invited presentation at University of Chicago:  A New Science of Virtues Symposium.

Collins, M.E., and Duffy, J.  (2008). Contextual impacts on caseworker decision-making in child welfare: A cross-national comparison.  34th Biennial Congress International Association of Schools of Social Work.  Durban, South Africa.

Collins, M.E., Clay, C.M., and Ward, R.  (2008).  Developing state policy regarding foster youth transition to independence:  Problem definition, policy solutions, political strategies.  Society for Social Work and Research 12th Annual Conference.  Washington, D.C.

Collins, M.E., Amodeo, M., and Clay, C.M.  (2006).  Child welfare training as policy solution:  Findings from the National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training Grants.  Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference.  Madison, WI.

Collins, M.E., Hyun Kim, S., Clay, C., and Perlstein, J. (2006).  Addressing issues of globalization in the training of public child welfare workers in the U.S. 33rd World Congress of Schools of Social Work.  Santiago, Chile.

Collins, M.E.  (2006).  Shared challenges and contextual differences:  A U.S. perspective on child care legislation in Northern Ireland. Child Care in Practice Conference.  Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Co-PI: Collins, M.E. PI: Augsberger, A. (2015) Understanding the Social Justice Function of Youth Councils.  Initiative on Cities, Boston University. $5,000.

Supporting the development of a professional workforce for child protection in Vietnam:  A collaborative approach.  Fulbright Lecturing Fellowship, 2011-2012.

Compassion and conflict resolution: religious roots and contemporary policy.  Faculty Fellowship – Religion Fellows Program:  Religion Conflict and Peace Making, Boston University School of Theology,   2010-2011.

Collins, M.E., Amodeo, M. and Clay, C. (2007). National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training Grants: Case Study Report of Independent Living Training Projects. Boston, MA: Boston University School of Social Work. Report available online.

Collins, M.E., Amodeo, M. and Clay, C. (2007). Review of the Literature on Child Welfare Training: Theory, Practice, and Research. Boston, MA: Boston University School of Social Work. Report available online.

Leaving care in Massachusetts:  Policy and supports to facilitate transition. Funding by the Massachusetts Youth Transition Task Force, 2006-2007.

National evaluation of child welfare training grants. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families, 2003-2006.

Supporting higher education pursuits for students with psychiatric disabilities: A state and school level policy and practice analysis. Funded by the Spencer Foundation, 2001-2002.

Training of child welfare practitioners to work effectively with youth transitioning out of foster care through the Federal Independent Living Program. Funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 2000-2003.

Member, Massachusetts Homeless Post-Secondary Student Network (2014-present)

Academic Consultant – Northeastern region. Hedge Funds Care/Help for Children Grant-makers (2014 – present)

Program Reviewer, Social Work Undergraduate Program.  Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon.  2014.

Member, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Global Education (2011 – 2014)

National Cadre of Mentoring Researchers, The Center for Advancement of Mentoring, Education Development Center, funded by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2009 –2011)

Steering Committee Member, Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE) (2006 – 2010)

Governor Appointed Member, Massachusetts Adolescent Health Council (2003 – 2009)

Member, Research Advisory Board, Holy Cross Children’s Services, Center for Practice and Policy Development (2002 – 2007)

Chair, Program Planning Sub-Committee, 15th National Conference on Child Abuse/Neglect (2004-2005)

Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) – Wellesley Institute. 2014- 2015 Cohort.

Dissertation Award, Eighth National Symposium on Doctoral Student Research: 1995, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH