Wayne State University

Strategic partners

The Center for Social Work Research seeks to nurture long-term relationships with Detroit area social service organizations. Our goal is to develop and evaluate best practices in social work interventions. This project focuses on a few large agencies to build a multi-faceted, collaborative relationship. These partnerships increase the ability for faculty and students to engage in applied research and the ability for community partners to test new program models and evaluation strategies. Collaboration between faculty and practitioners is an important component with our partner projects.

The type of collaboration provided through partner projects varies with each partner depending on their need and capacity, and our ability to match faculty interests. These partnerships will create an ongoing interactive exchange of information and sharing of resources for the purposes of organizational support, conducting major research and seeking external funding with the aim of developing and evaluating best practices in social interventions.


Focus: HOPE

1355 Oakman Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48238

WSU Center staff and faculty provide technical assistance to Focus: HOPE as it promotes its work to build the HOPE Village Initiative. The HOPE Village Initiative aims to develop a safe, strong and nurturing neighborhood where children and their families can develop to their full potential, by offering an interconnected web of opportunities and support, with education at its center. In order to gain funding to achieve its vision, WSU Center staff and faculty assisted with the preparation of the Promise Neighborhoods Grant, a major federal initiative. In addition, faculty and staff have provided consultation and evaluation assistance on the Neighborhood Network initiative – a service coordination program funded by United Way. Faculty have also created experiences for social work students to work with Focus: HOPE to increase student skills in community development and systems change.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services - Wayne County

WSU Center staff and several of the child welfare specialists on our faculty have been working with Wayne County DHHS to explore how to improve service quality. The process has included ongoing consultation and meetings to discuss the agency's vision, current work environment, challenges and needs. The team decided on two methods, staff focus groups and a web based survey. Focus groups were conducted in each of the four districts with child protective services staff to explore current practices and beliefs related to the investigation process central to the work of child protective services employees. A web-based survey asked questions related to competencies used in the CPS investigation process and was launched with all CPS workers in Wayne County. The findings from these data collection methods will be integrated and presented to DHHS as part of our ongoing consulting to assist DHHS in supporting the vision of the department to be a model agency for CPS.

MDHHS - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

The Children's Center

79 Alexandrine West
Detroit, Michigan 48201
United States Senator James Couzens, felt a deep compassion for the plight of children. In 1929, he helped establish The Children's Center, one of the first child guidance clinics in the country. The Children's Center (TCC) is one of the largest, most diverse and comprehensive front-line child-serving agencies in Michigan, addressing the needs and problems of some of the most troubled children in the United States.

Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority 

640 Temple
8th Floor
Detroit, MI 48201
WSU Center faculty participate in the agency's Research Advisory Committee to support their efforts in creating a research friendly climate in Wayne County for research and collaboration with the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. The committee facilitates access to relevant databases, advances an agreed upon research agenda, protects human subjects, promotes research studies, and disseminates findings through an annual conference, a VCE Online website, and other venues. This partnership also brings together Social Work faculty, DWCCMH and Southwest Solutions on a federally funded study using motivational enhancement with returning OIF/OEF veterans.

Oakland Family Services

114 Orchard Lake Road
Pontiac, MI 48341
Since 1921, OFS has been dedicated to strengthening families by providing quality treatment, education and prevention services throughout Southeastern Michigan. OFS has provided confidential services for over 80 years and we understand the importance of earning our customers' trust. We serve more than 30,000 children, adolescents, and adults every year. Oakland Family Services' mission is "To provide quality treatment, education and prevention services to meet human service needs in the community." OFS offers a wide range of services including Behavioral Health Services, Geriatric Services, Employee Assistance Program, Comprehensive Child and Family Services, School Readiness and Education Services.