Why Research 

  • We believe our research activities enable professional social workers to better prevent and treat individual, family, and community problems.
  • We believe research and evaluation provide necessary information and guidance to improve the effectiveness of human service organizations.
  • We believe through our research we can discover better ways to improve the lives of people and allow them to reach their highest potential in life.

Current Projects

As part of its mission, the members of the School of Social Work community engage in numerous research activities to develop, test, and disseminate innovative solutions to human services problems. These efforts serve to add to the knowledge base for social services, social work practice, and social work education and serve as a resource for students, faculty, and the practice community.

Examples of current research projects at the School include the following:

  • Catherine M. Lemieux and the School of Social Work was awarded $854,156 grant in 2015 to address substance abuse issues in Louisiana | Learn more about LA-SBIRT
  • The College's Office of Social Service Research and Development (OSSRD) received a three-year $1.5 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health for the Youth Empowerment Program II (YEP) proposal, which aims to promote family engagement and prevent violence in at-risk minority youth. The program, designated as YEP Village, strengthens work currently underway by OSSRD in the Baton Rouge community.
  • Scott E. Wilks, associate professor, was awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to help meet the surging behavioral health care needs among at-risk youth in Louisiana.

Past Projects

  • In 2009, Lilly Allen, Ph.D. was awarded a Specialized Gerontology Program grant to create a specialization or concentration in gerontological social work. The program is part of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative.
  • The Office of Social Service Research and Development monitors and evaluates Truancy Assessment and Service Center (TASC) programs throughout the state. TASC sites operate in 25 parishes and work to prevent truancy in kindergarten through fifth grade. Faculty and staff work with local coordinating agencies to address individual needs of children and families.
  • Establishing the Louisiana Poverty Initiative for research on the causes and outcomes of poverty with a goal of expanding our knowledge base through academic research and through best professional practices. The Poverty Initiative will focus on academic research and individual and community actions to create pathways out of poverty for children and families.
  • Improving Louisiana’s child welfare professionals through the Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project. The project is a partnership of the LSU School of Social Work, the State of Louisiana Department of Social Services Office of Community Services, and the Louisiana University Child Welfare Training Partnership with funding from the Children’s Bureau. The purpose of this project is to improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and youth by building the capacity of Louisiana’s child welfare professionals and by improving the systems to recruit, train, supervise, manage, and retain them.