Lauren Pryce McCarthy

Lauren Pryce McCarthy HeadshotLauren Pryce McCarthy CV 

PhD, University of Maryland School of Social Work
MSW, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of
BA, Psychology, Dickinson College



Lauren Pryce McCarthy successfully defended her dissertation, “Exploring Child Welfare Placement Pathways to Residential Treatment Settings: A Three Paper Dissertation,” in 2022. In her postdoctoral fellowship, she is responsible for developing research study proposals in collaboration with other faculty and staff, and writing individual grants to support future research projects, among other tasks.
McCarthy has co-authored numerous articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and has given presentations at multiple conferences around the country.
She won three awards during her time at UMSSW — the Dean’s Teaching Award and the Donna Harrington Fellowship Award in 2020, and the Dissertation Award in 2021. McCarthy also was nominated in 2021 for the Student Award for Leadership and Service from the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work.

McCarthy has been part of research teams as a postdoctoral fellow, during her time with UMSSW under several prominent professors, and while she was an undergraduate at Dickinson. Her research interests lie in ensuring equitable access to quality mental health care for all children and their families to reduce the need for residential treatment for youth. She is particularly interested in the intersection of the child welfare and mental health service systems.

McCarthy’s teaching interests include foundation practice with individuals and families, advanced clinical practice, research methods, structural oppression, and social work practice. She has been an adjunct faculty member at UMSSW, University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, and Boise State University School of Social Work, was a teaching assistant at UMSSW and Dickinson, and a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and the University of South Carolina School of Social Work.

McCarthy worked for seven years as an in-home family therapist and case manager for youth in Philadelphia. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Pennsylvania, certified in eco-systemic structural family therapy, and trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. She also worked as an intern at Durand Academy in Woodbury, N.J., and the Natale Crisis Residential Program in Media, Pa., providing counseling at both sites.

Selected Publications

McCarthy, L.P. (Accepted, publication pending). Understanding Subgroups of Child Welfare Placement Histories in the Context of Youth Behavior and Development: A Latent Class Analysis. Journal of Public Child Welfare.

McCarthy, L.P. (2021). Attention to gender and race in interventions for custodial grandparents: a scoping review. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 33(4). DOI: 10.1080/08952833.2021.1880186

McCarthy, L.P., Lee, B.R., Schagrin, J., & Loysen, S. (2020). Knowing that I wasn’t alone: An evaluation of a therapeutic camp reunifying siblings in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 117. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105296

McCarthy, L.P., Imboden, R., Shdaimah, C.S., & Forrester, P. (2020). ‘Ethics Are Messy’: Supervision as a Tool to Help Social Workers Manage Ethical Challenges. Ethics and Social Welfare, 14(1), 118-134.