Nancy Dickinson

Nancy DickinsonNancy S. Dickinson, Clinical Professor‌

Nancy S. Dickinson, MSSW. PhD, is a Clinical Professor at the School and Project Director of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI), funded by the Children’s Bureau since 2008.  In this position, Dickinson oversees a partnership among six universities in the preparation, delivery, and evaluation of activities that support the leadership development of child welfare supervisors, managers and executives in public, private and tribal agencies; the education of social work students through traineeship stipends in twelve universities across the country; and organizational interventions related to the child welfare workforce.

Dr. Dickinson has had extensive experience in child welfare practice, administration, research, education and training in North Carolina, Tennessee, California, and Washington State. She has served on the editorial boards of Social Work, Children and Youth Services Review and Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education. Her publications and conference presentations have focused on the child welfare workforce, organizational leadership, independent living, and continuing education. She has presented in many states, universities and several countries.

She has served as PI or Co-PI on 20 projects supported by foundations, states, and the federal government. From 2001-2008, Dickinson served as Principal Investigator of a project on child welfare staff recruitment and retention, funded by the Children’s Bureau, that successfully tested an intervention in a randomized clinical trial in 34 counties.

Contact Information:
Phone: (410) 706.3740
Room: 546 Law/SSW
Dickinson CV

Mailing Information:
UM School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


MSSW, University of Tennessee
PhD, University of Washington

Honors and Awards

2011 -- Peter W. Forsyth Award for Leadership In Public Child Welfare by The National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, American Public Human Services Association, Washington, DC, June 2, 2012.

Editorial Boards

Social Work
Children and Youth Services Review
Journal of Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education

Expertise and Research Interests

Leadership in Child Welfare
Child Welfare Research
Child Welfare Education and Training

Recent Publications

Dickinson, N.S. & Barth, R.P. (2013). Lessons learned and the way forward. In K. Briar-Lawson, M. McCarthy, & N.S. Dickinson (Eds.), The Children’s Bureau: Shaping a century of child welfare practices, programs, and policies (pp. 1-19). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Dickinson, N.S., & Painter, J.S. (2011). An experimental study of child welfare worker turnover. Proceedings of the 14th Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium. Berkeley, CA: California Social Work Education Center.

Dickinson, N.S., & Painter, J.S. (2009). Predictors of undesired turnover for child welfare workers. Child Welfare 88(5), 187-208.