Advancing health care
We at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University understand health access and health care equity to be among the most pressing struggles faced in communities throughout our nation. That is why we have recently partnered with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine as sponsor on its study on integrating social needs care into the delivery of health care .

The ad hoc committee will examine the potential for integrating services addressing social needs and the social determinants of health into the delivery of health care to achieve better health outcomes and to address major challenges facing the U.S. health care system.

We are honored to take part in this important work to look more holistically about the personal and environmental factors that contribute to the health of society.

I'm happy to share with you this exciting news as well as the highlights below as evidence of the Mandel School's commitment to advancing social work research, education and practice.

Best regards,

Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
Dean in Applied Social Sciences

School establishes Center on Trauma and Adversity
Due to its widespread impact and long-term effects, trauma has emerged as a significant public health concern throughout the world. It is now the focus of a new training and research center at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. The Center on Trauma and Adversity aims to reduce the impact of trauma and adversity through advanced training and integrated research to develop a skilled trauma-informed workforce. Its founding director is Dr. Megan R. Holmes . [ Learn more]
View the Annual Report
Last year was one of unprecedented growth and accomplishment for the Mandel School on all fronts, exemplifying the best efforts and far-reaching vision of our faculty, researchers, students and alumni.

In 2016­­­­–17…

* On-campus and online master’s students provided more than 240,000 hours of social work at 350 agencies around the country , an economic value of more than $6.3 million.

* The school earned more than $11.6 million in total external research and training funding.

* The Mandel School community published 71 publications .

*The school celebrated two chair appointments, welcomed five new faculty and won several nationally acclaimed awards .

Grants and Training
Improving Heroin Involved Death Investigation Protocol

Drs. Daniel Flannery and Mark Fleisher , funded by the National Institute of Justice, are conducting a process evaluation of the utilization and implementation of Cuyahoga County’s (CC) Heroin Involved Death Investigations (HIDI) protocol. This Heroin and Crime Initiative seeks to improve the HIDI protocol, thereby increasing successful prosecutions of large dealers, and subsequently decreasing overdose deaths our community. Partners include the CC Medical Examiner’s Office, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, the CC Prosecutor’s Office and the Cleveland Division of Police. Additionally, some members of the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin Opiate Task Force serve as advisors.
The Intersection of Sexual and Gender Youth and Foster Care

Dr. Dana M. Prince was recently selected as a 2018 Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar, which will take place in late July at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. During the Institute, Dr. Prince will receive technical assistance and consultation from leading research scientists and NIH program officers to develop a research proposal that will be submitted to the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities. Her research will investigate the intersection of sexual and gender (SGM) youth, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender nonconforming, with foster care status on adolescent mental health outcomes, social support and family acceptance.
Select Publications
Health Literacy and Physical, Mental Health

Health literacy (HL) among minority men is a contributing factor to health disparities in the U.S. Effects of limited health literacy are seen in negative health outcomes (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) and health-related quality of life (HRQL). A recent study, “ Health Literacy (HL) & Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) Among Minority Men ” by Dr. David Miller sought to identify how HL contributed to HRQL among minority males. A sample of 326 men participated. Findings suggest men with higher health literacy reported better physical and mental well-being than those with lower HL. Social workers practicing in minority communities can promote health literacy with the introduction of culturally-based and relevant health information to at-risk populations, particularly men.
Assessing Novel Approaches to Social Interventions

The social sector is abuzz with new thinking about how to ensure the best outcomes
are obtained from initiatives designed to address society’s most pressing issues, In a recent paper published in the journal “ Evaluation and Program Planning ,” Drs. Rob Fischer and Francisca Richter of the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development examine two novel approaches to social interventions and how they interact with each other.

The Pay For Success (PFS) and Social Impact Bond (SIB) movements to date have focused heavily on shorter-term outcomes that can be monetized and show clear savings to government entities. The study explores the intersection between these two movements with illustrations from a SIB initiative underway focused on homeless families with children in foster care.

The authors conclude that while the thinking of Social Return on Investment (SROI) analyses seeks to honor the full scope of benefits that may accrue to society, PFS projects are forced to be selective in identifying outcomes that can both demonstrate sufficient returns in the short-run and attract the interest of investors. Finding this sweet spot means that the social sector may be able to attract new investment to some, but not all, new initiatives that can benefit those served and society.
Homelessness’ Effects on Children and Parents

Depending on the source, between half a million and 2.48 million children in families experience homelessness each year in the United States. Quantitative research has documented the occurrence of poor outcomes associated with childhood homelessness. In the paper " Parenting and child experiences in shelter: A qualitative study exploring the effect of homelessness on the parent–child relationship ," published in Child & Family Social Work , Dr. Elizabeth Anthony conducted qualitative interviews with 19 formerly homeless parents to learn, from their perspective, how the experience of being homeless affected their young children and their own ability to parent. The experiences of parents provide invaluable insight into what shelter staff, social service agencies, philanthropy, policymakers and researchers can do to support and respect the parent–child relationship in families who are experiencing homelessness.
From the Child Welfare System to the Juvenile Justice System

Dr. Dana M. Prince and collaborators from Yale School of Medicine published a study in Child Abuse & Neglect prospectively examining the transition from the child welfare system (CW) to the juvenile justice (JJ) system among 10,850 maltreated children and adolescents. Almost three percent of maltreated children and adolescents had their first juvenile justice adjudication within an average of approximately six years of their initial child protective services investigation (CPS). Social risk factors, including a child’s age at index CPS investigation (older), gender (boys) and race/ethnicity (Black and Hispanic) significantly predicted the risk of transition into the JJ. Recurrence of maltreatment and experiencing at least one incident of neglect over the course of the study period also increased the risk of transition into the JJ. Subtypes of abuse (physical, sexual and other) did not predict transition; however, family poverty significantly increased the risk of JJ-system transition. Implications for CW involved youth at risk of JJ-system transition were discussed.
Individual Assets and Problem Behaviors in Adolescents Exposed to Cocaine from Birth

Drs. Meeyoung Min and Sonia Minnes examined longitudinal relationships between individual assets (social competence, positive value, commitment to learning) and problem behaviors in 372 adolescents who participated in a prospective study on the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure from birth. More problem behaviors at age 12 were associated with decreased individual assets at age 15 in girls, yet greater individual assets at age 12 were associated with more problem behaviors in boys at age 15. Efforts to promote individual assets may not lower the risk of engaging in problem behaviors especially among boys, although interventions reducing problem behavior may increase individual assets, among girls. The study, “ Individual assets and problem behaviors in at-risk adolescents: A longitudinal cross-lagged analysis ” was published in Journal of Adolescence.

Gerald J. Mahoney, PhD
Verna Houck Motto Professor of Families and Communities
Associate Dean for Research and Training