Campus News

Professor will edit new journal of research in public child welfare

Alberta Ellett

Alberta Ellett, an assistant professor in UGA’s School of Social Work, is the co-editor of the new Journal of Public Child Welfare, a quarterly professional journal that publishes theory-based and applied research in child welfare.

The charter issue of the Journal of Public Child Welfare, published this month, features articles on the deprofessionalization of child welfare, successful adoption of adolescents, degree options to prepare child welfare practitioners, issues in risk assessment, and child welfare in the courts.

“The thing that makes us unique is that we’re really targeting public child welfare as opposed to all of child welfare,” Ellett said. “Child welfare in the broader sense includes daycare, and we’re more specific around child maltreatment, foster care and adoption, workforce issues and sources of interventions being tried with that more narrow population.”

Kathy Briar-Lawson is a founding editor of the new journal and dean of the School of Social Work at the State University of New York at Albany. She approached Haworth Press with the idea for the new journal and asked Ellett to be a co-editor.

When asked about Ellett, Briar-Lawson said, “Bert is well regarded nationally for her research in and dedication to child welfare. She has proven her exceptional skill as a co-editor, and I am thrilled to see the first issue published.”

Ellett has devoted her academic career to strengthening child welfare organizations so that they retain and educate competent child welfare workers and professionalize child welfare services.

She worked about 30 years in a career that encompassed every level of public child welfare-including working with abused and neglected children and their families, with foster care placements and adoptions, and in management and policy development. Instead of retiring, she got her Ph.D.

“At some point I thought, maybe it’s time to recruit, educate and prepare the next generation of public child welfare workers, so that was my motivation to make the switch to teaching and research,” she said.

“And the journal will serve that goal by providing up-to-date research as well as literature reviews to not only scholars and academics but to students, practitioners and agency heads.”