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.

Expertise & Interests

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

MSSW, University of Tennessee
PhD, University of Washington