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BIO

Dr. Craig Schwalbe is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to joining the University, he had over ten years of direct practice and social work administrative experience in public and private agencies serving adults and children with serious mental illnesses and families involved in the child welfare system. At the school, Dr. Schwalbe teaches practice skills in foundation year courses and advanced clinical practice skills in the second year curriculum.

Across populations and problems, Dr. Schwalbe’s professional activities have emphasized community-based alternatives to institutional care. His scholarship with justice-involved youths focusses on the twin goals of minimizing the use of custodial interventions like detention and incarceration and strengthening their psychosocial outcomes. Toward those ends, Dr. Schwalbe’s scholarship is advancing along three interrelated research questions:

  • How can juvenile justice systems identify youths who are at low risk of repeat offending? His published research establishes the validity of risk assessment and seeks to examine the implementation issues related to the effective use of risk assessment in juvenile justice agencies.
  • How can evidence-based diversion programs be implemented in real-world community settings to reduce exposure of delinquent youths to the juvenile justice system? UNICEF-funded research in Jordan provided the opportunity to examine evidence-based strategies for diversion and to test implementation of diversion programs internationally. Results from this line of research point to the importance of implementation fidelity and the importance of strengthening family processes.
  • What evidence-based probation interventions yield strongest outcomes for justice-involved youths? Ongoing research funded by the WT Grant Foundation explores these issues in a theoretically driven longitudinal study of youth success and failure on probation. Results from this and related studies feature the importance of parental engagement in the probation process.

Dr. Schwalbe received his MSW from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a recipient of the WT Grant Foundation Scholar’s award and is a contributing author for the 10th edition of the text Direct Social work Practice: Theory and Skills.