Dr. Mary Edna Davidson has served as Dean of the School of Social Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, since 1993. She is also a Faculty Associate of the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.
Dean Davidson has made significant contributions on the national and state level in child welfare policy and prevention of child abuse and neglect. She has also published extensively on topics relevant to educational policies in social work practice, as well as ethnicity and inequities in service delivery systems to minority populations.
Dean Davidson's experience in formulating national policy and social work education has made her a valuable member of the New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, the State Human Services Advisory Council, the Social Work Education and Human Services National Advisory Panel, and the Commission on National Legislation and Administration Policy of the Council on Social Work Education.
In 1995, Dean Davidson was appointed to the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. As a member of the Task Force, she has provided significant knowledge and guidance in the development and expansion of training opportunities for the State's child protection workers and professionals working with children and families.
In Spring 2000, Dean Davidson collaborated with the Task Force and the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services to sponsor a series of symposia on advancing the State-of-the-Art In Child Protective Services Decision-Making. This year, she is laying groundwork for a symposium on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect that will involve State legislators, policy makers, community leaders, and professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services recently awarded a grant to Dean Davidson and the Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work to develop the Family Prevention Institute and to implement a training curriculum for direct line staff workers and supervisors. Under the leadership of Dean Davidson, a competency-based interdisciplinary training curriculum has been developed to enhance and strengthen the capacity of New Jersey's child welfare workers and supervisors to respond to complex family problems in the areas of substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence. The interdisciplinary training curriculum is part of New Jersey's commitment to enhance the knowledge base of professionals working in the field of child welfare and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.