• department Social Welfare Policy
  • education 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
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Professor and Department Chair, Social Welfare Policy
Director, Dual Degree Program in Social Work and Theology

Areas of Expertise

Children, Youth and Families; Program Evaluation Methods; Social Policy and Poverty

Practice and scholarly focus

• Child Welfare Policy
• Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Youth
• Compassion in Social Policy
• Evaluation of Social Services

Courses

WP700 Social Welfare Policy I: Conceptions, Scope, History, and Philosophies of Social Welfare
WP701 Social Welfare Policy II: Social Problems and Social Policy
WP707 Social Welfare Policy and Programs for Children

Publications

Augsberger, A., Collins, M.E., & Gecker, W. (2017). Youth civic engagement: Do youth councils reduce or reinforce social inequality? Journal of Adolescent Research, doi:10.1177/0743558416684957

Duffy, J., Collins, M.E., & 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., Augsberger, & 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.

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

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

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

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

Presentations

Collins, M.E. (2017). Impact of child deaths in care on child welfare policy-making: A comparative analysis. Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., & Gecker, W. (2017). Identifying practice components of youth councils: Contributions of theory. Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA.

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. (2016). New developments in social work education and research. Department of Social Work, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A. & 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., & 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. 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). Human trafficking in Vietnam. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Tampa, FL.

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

Collins, M.E. & Garlington, S. (2011). Compassion: The intersection of religious roots and contemporary policy. Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Conference. Milwaukee, WI.

Grants

Faculty Fellowship, Boston University School of Theology. (2016-2017). Religion and Race: Intersections in the Construction of Identity. Examining Religion and Race in Child Welfare: Influences of Policies and Programs.

Principal Investigator. (2016-2017). Policy Practice in Field Education Initiative. Funded by the Council on Social Work Education. Funding: $20,000.

Co-Principal Investigator. (2015). PI: Augsberger, A. Understanding the Social Justice Function of Youth Councils. Funded by the Initiative on Cities, Boston University. Funding: $5000.

Fulbright Fellowship. (2011-2012). University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of Social Work, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City.

Principal Investigator. (2003-2008). Professional Education for Current Public Child Welfare Agency Staff. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Funding: $374,121.

Principal Investigator. (2006-2007). Leaving Care in Massachusetts: Policy and Supports to Facilitate Transition. Funded by the Massachusetts Youth Transition Task Force. Funding: $115,000.

Evaluation Consultant. (2005-2008). Training of Child Welfare Agency Supervisors in the Effective Delivery and Management of Independent Living Services for Youth in Foster Care. University of Massachusetts Medical Center for Adoption Research. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families.

Principal Investigator. (2003-2007). National Evaluation of Child Welfare Training Grants. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families. Funding: $1,048,434.

Professional Activities and Certifications

2016-2019: Subject Extern Examiner, School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

2014-Present: Academic Consultant, Northeastern region. Hedge Funds Care/Help for Children Grant-makers.

2016-2019: Member, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Council on Leadership Development.

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

Awards and Honors

2014-2015 Cohort: Selected Participant, Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), Wellesley Institute.

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

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