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GSSW Doctoral Student Wins Congressional Policy Fellowship


By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: May 20, 2014

Graduate School of Social Work doctoral student Amy Griffin ’05 has been awarded a Congressional Policy Fellowship from the Society for Research in Childhood Development, a one-year placement that involves working in the office of a member of Congress or for a Congressional committee or support agency.

“This fellowship offers the opportunity to influence policy with child development research, inform the research community about the importance of public policy, and act as an intermediary between the two,” said Griffin, who is a teaching assistant for Donahue and DiFelice Professor of Social Work Ruth McRoy.

Griffin said her interest in the research-policy-social work connection stems from her work while an MSW student at the University of Pennsylvania with two young brothers from a troubled family who had been placed in separate foster homes due to a lack of placement policy. The experience fueled her decision to switch from clinical social work to a policy-and-research track and take an internship that enabled her to advocate for children and families on a macro level. Later, she contributed research as a participant in the Massachusetts Dually Involved Youth Working Group, which concentrates on youth who are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  

“I believe more researchers with a commitment to child development are needed in the political arena,” said Griffin. “The fellowship will provide me the ability to link child welfare centered research to public policy with the hopes that one day, I will be able to be part of policy creation that will help to improve children’s lives, like those two young brothers.”