Brenda D. Smith, PhD

Brenda D. Smith, PhD.Associate Professor and Director of PhD Program


  • BA, St. Olaf College
  • AM, University of Chicago
  • PhD, University of Chicago

Areas of Interest and Expertise:  

  • Child welfare policy and service delivery
  • Organizational and policy influences on practice
  • Policy and service disparities

Phone:  (205) 348-6528


  • Smith, B.D., Prichard, C., & Boltz, L.D. (2016). Do child welfare realistic job preview videos reflect evidence on retention and turnover? Children and Youth Services Review, 71, 210-216.
  • Wayne, R.H., & Smith, B.D. (2016). Threats to perceptions of fairness in the termination of parental rights. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 67(4), 26-40.
  • Smith, B.D., & Vandiver, V.L. (2016). Child welfare research and training: A response to David Stoesz. Research on Social Work Practice, 26, 515-518.
  • Smith, B.D., & Womack, B. G.  (2016). Human service administrators’ attitudes toward immigration: Shaped by community and organizational context?   Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance, 40(1), 6-21.
  • Smith, B.D., & Womack, B.G. (2015).  Human service administrators’ knowledge about immigration policy: Associations with attitudes, political ideology, and organizational practices.  Families in Society, 96 (1), 67-75.
  • Rajendran, K., Smith, B.D., & Videka, L.  (2015).  Association of caregiver social support with the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 48 (1), 150-158.
  • Smith, B.D., & Liu, J. (2014).  Latent practice profiles of substance abuse treatment counselors: Do evidence-based techniques displace traditional techniques?  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(4), 439-446.
  • Smith, B.D. (2013). Substance use treatment counselors’ attitudes toward evidence-based practice: The importance of organizational context. Substance Use & Misuse, 48: 379-390.
  • Lawrence, C.K., Zuckerman, M., Smith, B.D., & Lui, J.  (2012).  Building cultural competence in the child welfare workforce: A Mixed-methods analysis of the impact of training on individuals and their practice.  Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6, 225-241.
  • Marsh, J., Smith, B., & Bruni, Maria. (2011). Integrated substance abuse and child welfare services for women: A progress review. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 466-472.
  • Liu, J., & Smith, B.D. (2011). Transferring training to child welfare practice: Individual and collective efforts. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 149-156. 
  • Smith, B., & Manfredo, I. (2011) Frontline counselors in organizational contexts: A study of treatment practices in community settings. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 41, 124-136.
  • Smith, B.D.  (2009).  Service technologies and the conditions of work in child welfare. In Y. Hasenfeld (Ed.), Human Services as Complex Organizations (2nd ed.) (pp. 253-268).  Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Testa, M. F., & Smith, B.  (2009). Prevention and drug treatment. The Future of Children, 19(2), pp. 147-168.
  • Smith, B.D. (2008). Methamphetamines and child welfare: Review and research agenda. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 2(4), 511-529.
  • Smith, B.D. (2008). Service plan compliance in child welfare: Perceptions of biological parents and their caseworkers. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 89(4), 521-532.
  • Smith, B.D., & Mogro-Wilson, C. (2008). Inter-agency collaboration: Policy and practice in child welfare and substance abuse treatment. Administration in Social Work, 32(2), 5-24.
  • Smith, B.D., Duffee, D.D., Steinke, C.M., Huang, Y., & Larkin, H. (2008). Outcomes in residential treatment for youth: The role of early engagement. Children and Youth Services Review, 30(12), 1425-1436.
  • Smith, B.D., & Mogro-Wilson, C.  (2007). Multi-level influences on the practice of inter-agency collaboration in child welfare and substance abuse treatment. Children and Youth Services Review, 29(5), 545-556.
  • Warner, L.A., & Smith, B.D.  (2007). Approaches to teaching social policy.  In V.Fokine & R. Toseland (Eds.) Social work and social work education abroad: Comparative analysis in Russia and the U.S.A. (also translated into Russian). Moscow, Russia: Russian Academy of Education.