Faculty Directory

Thomas Crea


Assistant Dean, Global Programs

Chair, Global Practice Field of Practice


Thomas M. Crea, PhD, MSW, is Professor, Chair of Global Practice, and Assistant Dean of Global Programs at the School of Social Work, Boston College. He is a former clinical social worker with previous experience as a mental health therapist for severely emotionally disturbed children, and as a foster care adoption worker and supervisor providing home study assessments and post-placement support to families. Dr. Crea leads local, national, and international research projects related to social interventions for vulnerable children and families. This research focuses on the intersections of child welfare, refugee social protection and education, and strengthening humanitarian aid and international development programs. Dr. Crea’s projects have been funded by multiple sources such as the US Department of Agriculture, the Porticus Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and others. These projects span multiple countries, which in addition to the U.S. have included Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Palestine, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Professor Crea uses primarily mixed-methods, participatory research methodologies designed to produce rigorous, yet useful, findings for stakeholders working with marginalized populations.

Select Grants

8/18 to 7/23.  Principal Investigator for Long Term Stress and Impairment in Children and Youth after an Acute Infectious Disease Outbreak: A Longitudinal Study of the Social, Familial and Individual Effects of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), #R01HD096699 ($2,568,749)

8/16 to 12/20 Principal Investigator for Food for Education Phase II Evaluation, funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Honduras ($262,802)

6/18 to 5/19 Principal Investigator for Research in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya: Special Needs Education Activities, Project Design, and Foundational Beliefs, funded by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) International ($120,443)

7/15 to 9/17 Principal Investigator for Midterm and Final Evaluations: Food for Education (FFE) “Learning for Life”, funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Guatemala ($209,557)

9/15 to 8/16 Principal Investigator for Central American Youth in Long-Term Foster Care: A Study of Child Welfare Outcomes and Documentation of Best Practices, funded by Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS) ($30,000)

Select Appointments & Awards

Fellow of the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR), Class of 2017

Clinical Practice Experience

2001–2003, Adoption Supervisor, All God’s Children, Inc., A Special Needs Adoption Agency, Athens, Georgia

2000–2001, Adoption Caseworker, All God’s Children, Inc., A Special Needs Adoption Agency, Athens, Georgia

2000–2000, Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Inner Light Program, Family Counseling Service, Athens, Georgia

1999–2000, In-Home Crisis Counselor, Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED) Program, Child and Adolescent Unit, Northeast Georgia Center for Mental Health, Athens, Georgia