Barbara Pierce

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From Clinician to Community-Engaged Translational Practitioner: Building Social and Mental Health Programs for Children, Families, and Practitioners

Barbara Pierce, Ph.D., LCSW, has been a clinical social worker for 40 years and an academic for 20 years. She is a Professor of Social Work at the IU School of Social Work and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship Program graduate. She specializes in teaching about and working to dismantle the destructive effects of the social determinants of health/mental health by creating a culture of health and trauma-responsive programming for children, youth, and their families. I am also dedicated to working to create trauma-responsive work cultures for all social workers, teachers, and other professionals dedicated to working with children and youth. Dr. Pierce is also a community-engaged participatory action scholar. She facilitates trainings to state, national, and tribal federal leaders on developing a resilient and trauma-responsive workforce. Her new grant, part of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, is a Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Project to build capacity for school mental health services in Indiana. This $5.7 million 5-year grant will serve low-income school corporations in communities with low mental health service capacity. Dr. Pierce's focus on bringing trauma-responsive and equitable health programming to students and practitioners is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.