Mary Elizabeth Collins

Professor

Specialties

• Child Welfare Policy

• Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Youth

• Compassion in Social Policy

• Evaluation of Social Services

Mary Elizabeth Collins
department: Social Welfare Policy
phone: (617) 735-0024

faculty details

Bio

Mary Collins is an internationally recognized expert on child welfare. She is currently a subject extern examiner for the MSW program at University College Dublin in Ireland and serves as the international editorial advisor for British Journal of Social Work and on the editorial board of Journal of Policy Practice and Research.

Author of Macro Perspectives on Youths Aging Out of Foster Care (NASW Press, 2015), Collins’ recent research has appeared in journals including Child Welfare, Social Work Education, Research on Social Work Practice and Journal of Social Policy. Over the past decade, she has been a visiting scholar in Switzerland at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, in Ethiopia at University of Gondar and in Northern Ireland at Queen’s University School of Social Work. Collins spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. Her current research, funded by the Institute for Research on Poverty, is focused on employment-related policies for vulnerable youth.

At BUSSW, Collins previously served as associate dean for academic affairs, director of the dual degree program in social work and theology, co-coordinator of the specialization in children, youth and families, director of the doctoral program, and chair of the social welfare department.

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

Courses

WP903 Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy
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

Courses

WP903 Perspectives on Social Welfare Policy
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

Collins, M.E., Duffy, J., & Kim, S.H. (2021). Borders: An international comparative analysis of social work’s response. British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab134

Collins, M.E., Spindle-Jackson, A., & Yao, M. (2021). Workforce development systems efforts for system-involved youth: Opportunities and challenges. Children and Youth Services Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106158

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., & Sirois, L. (2021). Civic engagement approaches for system-involved youth: A comparative analysis. Journal of Youth Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2021.1892617

Collins, M.E., & Augsberger, A. (2020). Child welfare outreach work in a time of coronavirus: Discretion and constraints. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2020.1841560.

Collins, M.E., & Baldiga, S. (2020). Normalcy for children in foster care in the time of coronavirus. Journal of Children’s Services, 15, 4, 215-219.

Collins, M.E., Dixon, Z., & Zimmerman, T. (2020). Building policy practice into foundation field placement: Experiences and outcomes. Social Work Education. DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2020.1807495

Collins, M.E., & Mead, M.A. (2020). Social constructions of children and youth: Beyond dependents and deviants. Journal of Social Policy, 50, 3, 493-510. DOI:10.1017/S004727942000039.

Collins, M.E., & Kim, S.H. (2020). Governors as policy entrepreneurs: Setting the agenda for children. Child Welfare, 98, 2.

Collins, M.E. (2020). Transitioning from foster care to independence: Lessons from recent research and next steps. Child Welfare, 97, 5, 233-240.

Collins, M.E., Putnam, D., & Doherty, J. (2019). Assessing student competency in diversity and social justice. Social Work Education, 40(4), 462-472. DOI:10.1080/02615479.2019.1701643

Publications

Collins, M.E., Duffy, J., & Kim, S.H. (2021). Borders: An international comparative analysis of social work’s response. British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab134

Collins, M.E., Spindle-Jackson, A., & Yao, M. (2021). Workforce development systems efforts for system-involved youth: Opportunities and challenges. Children and Youth Services Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106158

Collins, M.E., Augsberger, A., & Sirois, L. (2021). Civic engagement approaches for system-involved youth: A comparative analysis. Journal of Youth Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2021.1892617

Collins, M.E., & Augsberger, A. (2020). Child welfare outreach work in a time of coronavirus: Discretion and constraints. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2020.1841560.

Collins, M.E., & Baldiga, S. (2020). Normalcy for children in foster care in the time of coronavirus. Journal of Children’s Services, 15, 4, 215-219.

Collins, M.E., Dixon, Z., & Zimmerman, T. (2020). Building policy practice into foundation field placement: Experiences and outcomes. Social Work Education. DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2020.1807495

Collins, M.E., & Mead, M.A. (2020). Social constructions of children and youth: Beyond dependents and deviants. Journal of Social Policy, 50, 3, 493-510. DOI:10.1017/S004727942000039.

Collins, M.E., & Kim, S.H. (2020). Governors as policy entrepreneurs: Setting the agenda for children. Child Welfare, 98, 2.

Collins, M.E. (2020). Transitioning from foster care to independence: Lessons from recent research and next steps. Child Welfare, 97, 5, 233-240.

Collins, M.E., Putnam, D., & Doherty, J. (2019). Assessing student competency in diversity and social justice. Social Work Education, 40(4), 462-472. DOI:10.1080/02615479.2019.1701643

Presentations

Collins, M.E. (2021). Employment training for vulnerable youth in the U.S.: Challenges and opportunities. Invited presentation at Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Collins, M.E. and Spindle-Jackson, A. (2021). Inclusion of youth perspectives in employment programming for disconnected youth. Presentation (recorded for on-line) at XVI European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF). ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Collins, M.E. and Garlington, S. (2021). Ethical responses to the COVID pandemic: Compassion, solidarity and justice. Presentation (on-line) at Ethical Perspectives on the Social and Economic Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, Austria.

Collins, M.E., & Spindle-Jackson, A. (2021). System-involved youth and workforce development: How do localities address youth needs? Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Collins, M.E., & Banks, M. (2021). Benefit interactions for foster youth leaving care: A Policy analysis. Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Kim, S.H., Collins, M.E., & Duffy, J. (2021). Borders: An international comparative perspective of social work’s response. Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Collins, M.E. (2021). Local workforce systems: Understanding implementation processes to effectively serve vulnerable youth. Invited presentation. Youth Employment: Connecting Research and Policy. Institute for Research on Poverty/ASPE. Virtual panel.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Supporting positive transitions for youth in child welfare: Policy approaches in comparative perspective. Invited presentation at 4th biannual international ISTAR conference: Adolescence in a multicultural transition and context. UIT, The Artic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Promising models to facilitate employment of care-leavers in the U.S. Invited presentation at Africa Care-leaving Conference. University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Macro issues impacting care-leaving in the U.S. Invited presentation at Africa Care-leaving Workshop. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Presentations

Collins, M.E. (2021). Employment training for vulnerable youth in the U.S.: Challenges and opportunities. Invited presentation at Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Collins, M.E. and Spindle-Jackson, A. (2021). Inclusion of youth perspectives in employment programming for disconnected youth. Presentation (recorded for on-line) at XVI European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF). ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Collins, M.E. and Garlington, S. (2021). Ethical responses to the COVID pandemic: Compassion, solidarity and justice. Presentation (on-line) at Ethical Perspectives on the Social and Economic Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, Austria.

Collins, M.E., & Spindle-Jackson, A. (2021). System-involved youth and workforce development: How do localities address youth needs? Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Collins, M.E., & Banks, M. (2021). Benefit interactions for foster youth leaving care: A Policy analysis. Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Kim, S.H., Collins, M.E., & Duffy, J. (2021). Borders: An international comparative perspective of social work’s response. Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference. Virtual.

Collins, M.E. (2021). Local workforce systems: Understanding implementation processes to effectively serve vulnerable youth. Invited presentation. Youth Employment: Connecting Research and Policy. Institute for Research on Poverty/ASPE. Virtual panel.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Supporting positive transitions for youth in child welfare: Policy approaches in comparative perspective. Invited presentation at 4th biannual international ISTAR conference: Adolescence in a multicultural transition and context. UIT, The Artic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Promising models to facilitate employment of care-leavers in the U.S. Invited presentation at Africa Care-leaving Conference. University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Collins, M.E. (2019). Macro issues impacting care-leaving in the U.S. Invited presentation at Africa Care-leaving Workshop. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Grants

Principal Investigator. Addressing the Workforce Needs of Youth in Urban Settings: A Study of Local Workforce Development Boards’ Inclusion of Youth Expertise. Funded by the Initiative on Cities, Boston University. Amount: $10,000. June 2020 – May 2021.

Principal Investigator. (2020-present). Local Workforce Systems: Understanding Implementation Processes to Effectively Serve Vulnerable Youth. Funded by The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

Grants

Principal Investigator. Addressing the Workforce Needs of Youth in Urban Settings: A Study of Local Workforce Development Boards’ Inclusion of Youth Expertise. Funded by the Initiative on Cities, Boston University. Amount: $10,000. June 2020 – May 2021.

Principal Investigator. (2020-present). Local Workforce Systems: Understanding Implementation Processes to Effectively Serve Vulnerable Youth. Funded by The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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

2022-2023: Vice-President, Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)

2021-2022: Vice-President Elect, Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)

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.

Professional Activities and Certifications

2022-2023: Vice-President, Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)

2021-2022: Vice-President Elect, Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)

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

2021 – present: Fellow, Society for Social Work and Research

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.

Awards and Honors

2021 – present: Fellow, Society for Social Work and Research

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.
see more of our faculty
View all faculty