Jihyun Oh earned her BA in Social Welfare at the Catholic University of Korea, her MA in Social Welfare at Seoul National University, and her MSW at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle. Prior to entering the UCLA doctoral program, in 2006-2011, she worked for various projects regarding measuring national minimum cost of living and producing Korean Welfare Panel Study data in the Division of Basic Social Security Research at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (a government-funded think tank). After completing her MSW, in 2017-2018, she interned in Partners for Our Children (UW-affiliated child welfare research center) in Seattle. Drawing on her research and practicum experiences in both Seoul and Seattle, Jihyun’s main research interest is child welfare and its association with relevant factors from both institutional and intergenerational contexts including parenting quality. Through her doctoral study at UCLA, Jihyun hopes to develop more comprehensive and systematic analysis that can contribute to improvements in child support policy and practice.
Sarah Godoy’s scholarship focuses on youth impacted by commercial sexual exploitation in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems and their intersection with healthcare services and specialty court programming in Los Angeles County. At UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, she is the Co-Investigator of a pilot study focused on reproductive health and the Project Manager of a mixed-methods research study.
Godoy conducted preliminary research in the red-light district of Tijuana, Mexico and practiced social work with women and children in the brothels of Old Delhi, India’s red-light district. She has published five articles in Forbes, underscoring the intersection of sex trafficking and technology. In 2017, Sarah was named number 20 of the top 100 Human Trafficking and Slavery Influence Leaders.
Professor Becerra’s research focuses on policy issues in health and mental health over the life span, with particular emphasis in social gerontology and child welfare. She is the principal investigator for a State of California Department of Social Services five-year study of welfare reform in California. She also is working on an National Institute of Health/National Institute on Aging four-year panel study of the Mexican American elderly entitled, “Health Care Use and Social Support.” She served as the keynote speaker at a symposium on the urban elderly sponsored by the 1995 White House Conference on Aging.
In her latest book, Social Services and the Ethnic Community, Dr. Becerra documents the relationship between the social work profession and ethnic communities, showing why and how ethnic minority agencies have played a pivotal role in their communities by filling the gaps left by mainstream social service agencies.
In addition to her research and publications, Dr. Becerra has worked as a child therapist, a drug counselor,a psychiatric social worker and a probation officer. Professor Becerra also holds an MBA from Pepperdine and has served on the boards of several social service groups, most recently acting as chair of strategic planning for the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles. She also has advised a wide variety of government agencies and non-profit organizations, including the NIH,
the U.S. General Accounting Office, the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, the American Association of Retired People and the American Cancer Society.
In 2002, Professor Becerra was named Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Diversity. She began the new post on July 1, 2002.
Michelle Talley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose main area of focus is working with youth and families as it relates to Public Child Welfare. Other areas of interest are issues dealing with domestic violence, substance use, education, and attachment in youth and families.
As a field consultant with the Inter-University Consortium, a collaborative effort of Southern California social work programs that trains social workers in the area of child welfare, Ms. Talley works with first and second-year MSW students placed in the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
Ms. Talley has also worked as a mental health clinician dealing with children impacted by abuse and neglect within their family nucleus. Most of the children and families worked with were also dealing with substance use/abuse, criminal issues, education, poverty, and mental health issues in which adversely impacted their family dynamics. Ms. Talley has also worked as an adoption social worker with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. The focus was to locate families and individuals who were interested in providing a permanent home for children in the Child Welfare system.
Professor Iglehart’s research centers on adolescents in foster care; aging out of care and the transition to adulthood; and service delivery to diverse communities. Her background as a case-carrying children’s services worker in Los Angeles County ignited her interest in public child welfare. One aspect of her academic work addresses the needs of and services to adolescents who age-out of, or emancipate from, foster care. Recent child welfare legislation has expanded the service population from those teens preparing for emancipation to include young adults who have already left the foster care system.
Dr. Iglehart is investigating the quality of life of individuals after they have aged out of foster care. Her research, as well as that of others, shows that numerous former foster care individuals are at-risk for negative outcomes such as homelessness, substance abuse, welfare dependency, and incarceration. The current policy dilemma involves the implementation of mandated programs and services that effectively promote and support self-sufficiency and the successful transition to adulthood for this target population.
In the child welfare field, she has published on the topics of adolescents in foster care, kinship care, and the public child welfare organization.
Another aspect of Dr. Iglehart’s work addresses the history and development of non-clinical social work that includes social work practice in organizations, communities, and policy settings. As part of this focus, she is studying the organization, structure, and service delivery patterns of community-based agencies; inter-agency cooperation; and the development and effectiveness of collaboratives. She seeks to identify those policies and practices that facilitate inter-organizational relationships.Dr. Iglehart’s work also emphasizes the role of social justice in the service delivery process. She was instrumental in creating the Department of Social Welfare’s Social Work and Social Justice Specialization. Her co-authored book, Social Services and the Ethnic Community (now in its second edition), traces the history and evolution of ethnic services in the United States. For many ethnic/racial groups, ethnic services can be seen as a pathway for creating opportunities and reducing barriers.
SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS
Social Services and the Ethnic Community – History and Analysis
Iglehart, A.P. & Becerra, R.M. (2011). Social Services and the Ethnic Community – History and Analysis. Second Edition. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.
Managing for Diversity and Empowerment in Human Services Agencies. (2009)
Pps. 295 – 318 in Rino Patti, Ed., The Handbook of Human Services Management. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Hispanic and African American Youth
Iglehart, A. and R. Becerra. (2002). “Hispanic and African American Youth: Life After Foster Care Emancipation.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 11, 79-107.
Social Services and the Ethnic Community
Iglehart, A. and R. Becerra. (1995). Social Services and the Ethnic Community. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Reissued by Waveland Press, 2000.
Readiness for Independence: Comparison of Foster Care, Kinship Care, and Non-foster Care Adolescents
Iglehart, A. (1995). “Readiness for Independence: Comparison of Foster Care, Kinship Care, and Non-foster Care Adolescents.” Children and Youth Services Review, 17, 417-32.
Gerardo P. Laviña is a licensed clinical social worker whose interests lie in working with children and families, particularly in the fields of school social work, mental health, and multicultural issues.
As the Project Coordinator for the CalSWEC Mental Health Education Stipend Program, a collaborative effort of California social work programs and the Department of Mental Health, Mr. Laviña works with second-year MSW students placed in the County Mental Health agency (e.g., LACDMH) and contract agencies. Prior to becoming the Director of Field Education, he served as field liaison with many local school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified, developing and monitoring student internships in school social work and coordinating the Pupil Personnel Services Credentialing/SSW program . In the classroom, he has taught an advanced practice course in school social work and courses related to diversity. Mr. Laviña also worked for several years as a Field Consultant for the IUC program, a collaboration between Southern California MSW programs and DCFS. He also acts as faculty advisor for the department’s Latina/o Caucus and the Diversity Caucus; and, for the Luskin D3 Initiative.
Prior to joining the field faculty, Mr. Laviña was a social worker in the Family and Child Guidance Clinic of the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center in Culver City. Here he acted as program coordinator and clinician in two different programs working with severely emotionally disturbed children and their families. He has also served as a contract assessor for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s Children and Youth Services Bureau, and as a private practitioner. In fall 2016, Mr. Laviña was awarded “Social Worker of the Year” by the NASW California Chapter.
Dr. Halfon received an MD from the University of California, Davis, and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his pediatric residency at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. Dr. Halfon was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at both UC San Francisco and Stanford.
He has published the results of research on immunizations for inner-city children, health care needs to children in foster care, trends in chronic illnesses for children, delivery of health care services for children with asthma, and investigations of new models of health service delivery for high-risk children. Dr. Halfon recently co-authored and co-edited Child Rearing in America: Challenges Facing Parents with Young Children with Kathryn Taaffe McLearn and Mark A. Shuster. In this volume Dr. Halfon and a team of experts analyze findings from recent nationwide surveys, offering new insights into parenting beliefs and practices that can help to bring about more family-responsive and holistic child health and developmental services. Dr. Halfon also led the team that developed and implemented the 2000 National Survey of Early Childhood Health, and supervised the analysis of that survey, and the resulting special supplement to the journal Pediatrics which will be published in the fall of 2003.
Dr. Halfon’s primary research interests include the provision of developmental service to young children, access to care for low-income children, and delivery of health services to children with special health care needs — with a particular interest in abused and neglected children who are in the foster care system. His recent work attempts to define a developmentally-focused model of health production across the life course, and to understand the implications of such an approach for the delivery and financing of health care. He is currently co-chair of the Health Services Working Group for the planned National Children’s Study, an effort being led by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr Halfon was appointed to the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine in 2001. He has also served on numerous expert panels and advisory committees including the 1999 Institute of Medicine committee commissioned by Surgeon General Satcher to propose the leading health indicators to measure the countries progress on our National Healthy Peoples agenda. He currently serves on a congressionally mandated Committee of the Institute of Medicine to evaluate how children’s health should be measured in the US.
Neal Halfon, MD, MPH is the Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, and also directs the Child and Family Health Program in the UCLA School of Public Health, and the federally funded Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s National Center for Infancy and Early Childhood Health Policy Research. Dr. Halfon is a Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA School of Medicine and Professor of Community Health Sciences in the UCLA School of Public Health, and is Professor of Policy Studies in the School of Public Policy and Social Research and is a also consultant in the Health Program at RAND.
Trained in social work and educational psychology, Professor Franke seeks to achieve a better understanding of, and improve the responsiveness of service systems in the fields of social services, education and health. Using cognitive theory to better define policy issues related to the integration of these two important fields, Dr. Franke’s research has focused in part on the impact of disability and chronic illness on school-age children. He is currently conducting a study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on the use of personal assistance services for children with disabilities. In addition, Dr. Franke studies how adolescents solve social problems; urban mobility and its impact on children’s education and social development; and how to successfully integrate health and social services in school settings.
Dr. Franke is active in several local and regional efforts to restructure social services in the schools, helping to conceptualize planning and implementation and the design of evaluation measures in Los Angeles Unified School District, the country’s second-largest school district. He also serves as a consultant to local school districts for the preparation of funding proposals for Healthy Start, a state program to establish linkages between community social service agencies and schools. HIs primary work occurs at the intersection of youth violence (child welfare and gang involved youth) and education. In these areas he designs and undertakes evaluative research and has obtained over $9 million in research funding over the past 7 years. He is currently the Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.
Dr. Franke has been involved with agencies that serve thousands of families representing unique geographic and cultural communities in California, particularly southern California counties. He recently prepared a report for the Los Angeles City Council which examines the measurement issues involved in assessing the success of gang-related and youth development prevention and intervention programs in the city. The link between involvement in the child welfare system and gang involvement is well documented. Dr. Franke is currently the Co-PI of the Best Start LA Initiative which aims to shape, strengthen and support five Los Angeles communities by building resources and providing access to activities that improve the well-being, development and care experienced by pregnant women, parents of newborns and children age 3 and under.
Dr. Franke was also the Principal Investigator for the First 5 LA-funded Partnership for Families Initiative, which is a secondary prevention initiative that is designed to prevent child maltreatment in vulnerable families. Dr. Franke has been the PI for the Small County Initiative, which was designed to systematically examine California’s efforts to build and enhance child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in 11 rural counties in northern California. Additionally, he has numerous years of experience in conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal research in the fields of education, child welfare and adolescent violence.