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Child Welfare Faculty Members

Heather Farineau

Heather Thompson has years of experience in the child welfare system in Florida, working in a range of roles from a front line staff to an administrator at the lead child welfare agency of North Florida. Dr. Thompson worked in the child welfare system in Tallahassee for several years as a Dependency Case Manager and transitioned to an administrative role, where she served as a Permanency and Placement Specialist at the Community Based Care agency. Additionally, as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Thompson has provided counseling services, including individual, couple and family counseling, as well as parenting interventions to at-risk families involved in the child welfare system. Her area of research expertise is in child welfare, specifically identifying protective factors for adolescents in long-term foster care. Her secondary area of research focuses on identifying best practices for child welfare professionals. She has presented her research at state and national conferences focusing on improving outcomes for families involved in the foster care system. Additionally, Dr. Thompson has published research in various child welfare journals, and serves on the editorial board for Child and Adolescent Social Work and serves as an ad hoc and invited reviewer for several other peer-reviewed social work journals.

Dr. Colvin

Assistant Professor Marianna Colvin received her Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Georgia and MSW from the University of Alabama. As a mixed-methods researcher, Marianna combines network analysis and qualitative methods to examine interorganizational human service delivery systems related to vulnerable children and families. She approaches child welfare from a community-wide orientation, inclusive of multiple disciplines, and concentrates on interactions across organizations, theories of systems and complexity, and implications for policy and network development. Her academic pursuits are guided by experiences as a social work practitioner in international, national, and local child welfare roles, including community development for street children and impoverished populations in India and U.S. based capacities in child protective services, family preservation, resource development, and supervision. Similar to her research interests, Marianna’s teaching interests reflect a community orientation and she enjoys building community within the classroom, facilitating community-based learning, and integrating a global-community perspective across content. She is passionate about social work education and through both teaching and research, aims to enhance the ways communities and organizations are knitted together in support of vulnerable children and families.

Joy McClellan

Joy McClellan, LCSW, earned a BSW degree from Florida State University and an MSW from Barry University. Her early social work practice included community organization and community mental health. Professor McClellan has worked in the areas of children’s mental health, family strengthening and family preservation, and child welfare for the last 15 years. Her special interest areas include system of care work and child welfare education. She is a member of NASW and serves as a board member of the Federation of Families of Palm Beach County.