Briar Cliff Social Work Professor Publishes Article

Heather Craig-Oldsen

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Heather Craig-Oldsen, associate professor of social work, program director and department chair at Briar Cliff University, has co-authored an article on Indian Child Welfare with Julia Kleinschmit, a clinical associate professor and practicum administrator at the University of Iowa.

Craig-Oldsen also is the principal investigator of Briar Cliff’s Siouxland Indian Child Welfare Traineeship Project (SICWTP), which promotes the professionalization of child welfare through support of culturally appropriate undergraduate social work education.

The article, titled “Past Hurt, Future Hope: Professionalizing Indian Child Welfare in Undergraduate Social Work Education Through a Collaborative Understanding of Changing Values and Changing Practices,” was recently published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, 2012, a special edition to commemorate 100 years of U.S. Children’s Bureau’s efforts to professionalize and improve child welfare.

In their collaborative work, Craig-Oldsen and Kleinschmit examine the shared history of values and practices motivating stakeholders in American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) child welfare to expand social work education in Siouxland.

They also describe Siouxland’s unique history with Indian boarding schools and orphan trains, provide highlights of BCU’s SICWTP and review successful efforts to dedicate funding for Children's Bureau child welfare workforce development to assist AI/AN children and families at risk of poor outcomes.

Briar Cliff University is a Catholic institution with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students from 31 states and 11 countries. Students are educated in the Franciscan tradition of excellence in the liberal arts and career preparation in an environment of care, compassion and service. For more information, please visit

Tags: Academics, Social Work, Justice, Social Work Faculty