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

Augsberger, A., Collins, M.E., and Gecker, W. (In press). Youth civic engagement: Do youth councils reduce or reinforce social inequality? Journal of Adolescent Research.

Duffy, J., Collins, M.E., and Kim, S.H. (2016). Linking family engagement with a rights perspective: Macro factors influencing practice. European Journal of Social Work. doi: 10.1080/13691457.2016.1255925

Collins, M.E., and Bùi Thi Thanh Tuyen. (2016). Youth leaving care in developing countries: Observations from Vietnam. In, P. Mendes and P. Snow (Eds.). Young people transitioning from care: International research, policy and practice (pp.329-348). London UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, and Gecker, W. (2016). Youth councils in municipal government: Examination of activities, impact and barriers. Children and Youth Services Review, 65, 140-147.

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

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

Collins, M.E. (2016). Comparative analysis of state policy-making in child welfare: Differentiating symbolic versus substantive change. Fourteenth International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum, Wellington, New Zealand.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A. and Gecker, W. (2016). Youth councils and social justice: Practice and potential. Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, Seoul, Korea.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., and Gecker, W. (2016). Youth civic engagement and social inequality: The potential of municipal youth councils. Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management International Conference, London, England.

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. 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. (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, Boston, MA.

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. 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., 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.

Principal Investigator. (2016-2017). Policy Practice in Field Education Initiative. The Council on Social Work Education.

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

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

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

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.

(2006-2007). Leaving Care in Massachusetts:  Policy and Supports to Facilitate Transition. Funding by the Massachusetts Youth Transition Task Force.

(2003-2006). National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training Grants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families.

(2001-2002). Supporting Higher Education Pursuits for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities: A State and School Level Policy and Practice Analysis. The Spencer Foundation.

(2000-2003). Training of Child Welfare Practitioners to Work Effectively with Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care Through the Federal Independent Living Program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

2016-2019: Subject Extern Examiner, School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
2016-2019: Member, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Council on Leadership Development
2016: Member, Social Work Peer Review Committee for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program
2014-Present: Member, Massachusetts Homeless Post-Secondary Student Network
2014-Present: Academic Consultant – Northeastern region. Hedge Funds Care/Help for Children Grant-makers
2014: Program Reviewer, Social Work Undergraduate Program. Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
2011-2014: Member, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Commission on Global Education
2009-2011: National Cadre of Mentoring Researchers, The Center for Advancement of Mentoring, Education Development Center, funded by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
2006-2010: Steering Committee Member, Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE)
2003-2009: Governor Appointed Member, Massachusetts Adolescent Health Council
2002-2007: Member, Research Advisory Board, Holy Cross Children’s Services, Center for Practice and Policy Development 2004-2005: Chair, Program Planning Sub-Committee, 15th National Conference on Child Abuse/Neglect

2014-2015 Cohort: Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) – Wellesley Institute.
1995: Dissertation Award, Eighth National Symposium on Doctoral Student Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH