Shelley L. Craig

Associate Dean, Academic; Associate Professor; Ph.D., Social Welfare, Florida International University; M.S.W., University of South Florida; B.S., Liberty University
Phone Number: 
(416) 978-8847
Office Location: 

To book an appointment kindly contact Natasha Valentine the Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean, Academic at

Research Interests: 

Social Media, Queer Youth & Resilience
Intervention Research & Program Evaluation
Strengths-Based Case Management
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
HIV/AIDS & Health Disparities
Social Work Education for Sexual and Gender Minority Students
Social Work Practice in Health Care
The Social Determinants of Health
Clinical Supervision
Practice & Community-Based Mixed Method Research
Simulation in Social Work Education

Research Gate Profile

FIFSW Research Commons Hub


Shelley L. Craig teaches in the Health and Mental Health specialization, primarily focusing on research and practice for health.

Dr. Craig’s research focuses on the social determinants of health and mental health and the impact of the service delivery system on vulnerable populations. Her primary specializations are: (1) the needs of sexual and gender minority youth and subsequent program development and service delivery (2) the roles and interventions used by health social workers to impact the social determinants of health (3) developing competent social work practitioners through effective social work education.

As principal investigator she has recently tested several interventions for sexual and gender minority youth including Strengths-First, a resilience-focused case management program for  youth at risk, ASSET, an empowering group  model and funded through the Canadian Institute of Health Research, AFFIRM, an affirmative cognitive-behavioural group intervention. Funding from SSHRC has allowed Dr. Craig to further understand the influence of the media on the resilience and identity of this vulnerable population. Other projects include a HIV prevention intervention for minority youth involved with the juvenile justice system, identified the HIV testing patterns of older Latinas; HIV prevention for Latina transgender sex workers, and the use of mental health services by urban gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth. Dr. Craig directed an extensive community research plan, as well as developed and established a multi-million dollar comprehensive service delivery system for sexual minority youth and their families. She has also been PI of an international study of LGBTQ students in social work programs.

Dr. Craig is registered and licensed clinical social worker with a particular expertise in delivering effective services for vulnerable populations. Selected experiences over her twenty five years of practice include: Founder and Executive Director of the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, Executive Director of ALSO for Out Youth; Medical social worker in the emergency care center of a community hospital; Director of a domestic violence shelter.

Dr. Craig has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Inspirational Social Work Leader 2015, Ontario Association of Social Workers; Fellow, the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR); the Excellence in Research Scholarship Award from the Council of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (CSOGE), National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Student Social Worker of the Year and the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) National Person of Impact. She is particularly proud that several of her students and mentees have also become Student Social Worker(s) of the Year.

Current Service to Practice Community:


Co-Chair Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (CSOGIE) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)Co-Chair (2014-)
President Heartstrong National Executive Board (2001-)
Board of Directors Co-Chair WorldPride (2013-14)
Pride Toronto (2012-)
Member: National Board (past) Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). (2001-2010)
Current: Performance Evaluation Committee
(ex-officio) (2001-)
(past) Chair
Member: Nominating Committee (ex-officio)
(past) Member: Search Committee
(past) Vice- President
Member Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO): Affiliate Researcher
Member Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
Fellow & Member Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Faculty Representative/Member Canadian Association of Social Work Educators (CASWE)
Member Canadian Evaluation Association (CEA)
Member Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society
Clinical Supervisor Accredited Field Supervisor/Trainer (2003-)
Publications In Refereed Journals: 

Craig, S.L., & Austin, A (2016). The AFFIRM Open Pilot Feasibility Study: A Brief Affirmative Cognitive Behavioral Coping Skills Group Intervention for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. Children and Youth Services Review. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.02.022

Craig, S.L, Dentato, M., Messinger, L., & McInroy, L. (2016). Educational determinants of readiness to practice with LGBTQ Clients: Social work students speak out. British Journal of Social Work. 46 (1), 115-134. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu107

Craig, S.L., Austin, A., Alessi, E. McInroy, L. & Keane, G. (in press). Minority Stress and HERoic Coping among Ethnoracial Sexual Minority Girls: Intersections of Resilience. Journal of Adolescent Research.

Craig, S.L., Iacono, G., Paceley, M., Dentato, M. & Boyle, K. (in press). Intersecting Sexual, Gender and Professional Identities among Social Work Students: The Importance of Identity Integration. Journal of Social Work Education

Dentato, M.P., Craig, S.L., Lloyd, M.R., Kelly, B., Wright, C., & Austin, A. (in press). Homophobia within schools of social work: The critical need for affirming classroom settings and effective preparation for service with the LGBTQ community. Social Work Education: The International Journal.

Alessi, E. J., Sapiro, B., Kahn, S., & Craig, S. L. (in press). The first year experience for sexual minority students: A grounded theory exploration. Journal of LGBT Youth.

Austin, A., Craig, S.L. & McInroy, L. (in press). Toward Transgender Affirmative Social Work Education. Journal of Social Work Education.

Craig, S.L., Frankford, R., Allan, K., Williams, C., Schwartz, C., Yaworski, A., Janz, G. & Malek-Saniee, S. (2016). Self-Reported Patient Psychosocial Needs in Integrated Primary Health Care: A Role for Social Work in Interdisciplinary Teams. Social Work in Health Car, 55, 1, 41-60. DOI:10.1080/00981389.2015.1085483

Craig, S.L., McInroy, L.B, McCready, L.T., Alaggia, R. (2015). Media: A Catalyst for Resilience in Sexual Minority Youth. Journal of LGBT Youth. 12:3, 254-275. DOI: 10.1080/19361653.2015.1040193

Craig, S.L., Doiron, C. & Dillon, F. (2015) Cultivating multiethnic professional allies for sexual minority youth: A community-based educational intervention. Journal of Homosexuality. 62, 12,1703-1721. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2015.1078208

Craig, S. L. & Betancourt, I. & Muskat, B. (2015). Thinking big, supporting families and enabling coping: The value of social work in patient and family centered health care. Social Work in Health Care, 54, 5, 422-443.

Austin, A. & Craig, S.L. (2105). Adapting empirically supported interventions for sexual and gender minority youth:  A stakeholder driven model. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work. DOI:10.1080/15433714.2014.884958.

Craig, S.L, Dentato, M. & Iacovino, G. (2015). Patching holes and integrating community: A strengths-based continuum of care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. 27, 01, 100 – 115.

Austin, A. & Craig, S.L. (2015). Transgender* Affirmative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Clinical Considerations and Applications. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 46(1), 21-29

McInroy, L. & Craig, S.L. (2015). Transgender Representation in Offline and Online Media: LGBTQ Youth Perspectives. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. DOI:10.1080/10911359.2014.995392

Dillon, F., Alessi, E., Craig, S.L. & Spadola, C. (2015). Development evaluation of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual affirmative counseling self-efficacy inventory – Short form (LGB-CSI-SF). Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. 2,1,86-95.

McInroy, L. B., Craig, S. L.,& Austin, A. (2014). The perceived scarcity of gender identity specific content in Canadian social work programs. Canadian Social Work Review, 31(1), 5-21.

Bejan, R., Craig, S.L. & Saini, M. (2014). I love my job but…..A portrait of Canadian social workers’ occupational conditions. Canadian Social Work, 16, 1, 21-45.

Craig, S.L. & Calleja-Lorenzo, V. (2014). Can Information and Communication Technologies Support Patient Engagement? A Review of Opportunities and Challenges in Health Social Work. Social Work in Health Care, 53, 9, 845-864.

Craig, S. L. & Keane, G. (2014). The mental health of multiethnic lesbian and bisexual youth: The role of self-efficacy, stress and behavioral risks. The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, 18, 3, 266-283.

Craig, S.L, Dentato, M., Messinger, L., & McInroy, L. (2014). Educational determinants of readiness to practice with LGBTQ Clients: Social work students speak out. British Journal of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu107

Craig, S.L. McInroy, L. McCready, L., Di Cesare, D., & Pettaway, L.   (2014). Connecting without fear: Clinical Implications of the Consumption of Information and Communication Technologies by Sexual Minority Youth and Young Adults. Clinical Social Work. DOI 10.1007/s10615-014-0505-2

Pettaway, L., Bryant, L., Fenkl, E. & Craig, S.L. (2014). Becoming Down-low: A review of literature on black men who have sex with men and women. Journal of Bisexuality, 14, 2, 209-221.

Craig, S. L., McInroy, L., Allaggia, R. & McCready, L. (2014). Like picking up a seed, but you haven’t planted it”: Queer youth analyze the It Gets Better Project. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies. 1: 204–219.

Craig, S. L., & McInroy, L. (2014). You can form a part of yourself online: The influence of new media on identity development and coming out for LGBTQ youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, 18, (1), 95-109. DOI:10.1080/19359705.2013.777007.

Asakura, K. & Craig, S. L. (2014). “It Gets Better”… but how?: Exploring resilience development in the accounts of LGBTQ adults. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24, 3, 253-266.

Craig, S. L., & Smith, M. (2014). The impact of perceived discrimination and social support on the school performance of multiethnic sexual minority youth. Youth & Society, 46, 30-50. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X11424915

Craig, Shelley L. “Young and Adolescent Lesbians.” (2014). In Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0137.

Ylioja, T., & Craig, S. L. (2014). Exclusionary health policy: Responding to the risk of poor health among sexual minority youth in Canada. Social Work in Public Health, 29:1–6.

 Craig, S. L. (2013). Affirmative Supportive Safe and Empowering Talk [ASSET]: Leveraging the Strengths and Resiliencies of Sexual Minority Youth in School-Based Groups. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 7:1–15.

Craig, S. L., Austin, A., & McInroy, L. (2014). School-Based Groups to Support Multiethnic Sexual Minority Youth Resiliency: Preliminary Effectiveness. Child and Adolescent Social Work. 30, 4, 87-106. (DOI) 10.1007/s10560-013-0311-7.

Craig, S. L. & McInroy, L. (2013). The relationship of cumulative stressors, chronic illness and abuse to the self-reported suicide risk of Black and Hispanic sexual minority youth. The Journal of Community Psychology, 41, (7), 783-798.

Craig, S. L., Austin, A., & Alessi, E. (2013). Gay Affirmative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Sexual Minority Youth: A Clinical Adaptation. Clinical Social Work. DOI:10.1007/s10615-012-0427-9.

Craig, S. L., Bejan, R. & Muskat, B. (2013). Making the Invisible Visible: Are Canadian Medical Social Workers Addressing the Social Determinants of Health? Social Work in Health Care, 52, 4, 311-331. DOI:10.1080/00981389.2013.764379.

Craig, S. L. & Muskat, B (2013).  Bouncers, Brokers and Glue: The Self-Described Roles of Social Workers in Urban Hospitals. Health and Social Work, 38(1) 7-16. DOI:10.1093/hsw/hls064.

Collazo, A., Austin, A., & Craig, S. L.  (2013). Key Components of Effective Clinical Practice in Facilitating Transition with Transgender Clients. Clinical Social Work, 1, 1-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10615-013-0436-3.

Craig, S. L., McInroy, L., Austin, A., Smith, M. & Engle, B. (2012). Promoting self-efficacy and self-esteem for multiethnic sexual minority youth: An evidence-informed intervention. Journal of Social Service Research, 38, 5, 688-698.

Craig, S. L. (2012). Strengths-based case management: New applications for multiethnic sexual minority youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 39, 3, 274-288.

Tufford, L., Newman, P., Brennan, D., Craig, S.L., & Woodford, M. (2012). Conducting Research with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Populations: Navigating Research Ethics Board Reviews, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 39, 3, 221-240.

McInroy, L. & Craig, S. L. (2012). Articulating Identities: Language and practice with multiethnic sexual minority youth. Counselling Psychology Quarterly.

Craig, S.L., Beaulaurier, R. L., Newman, F. L., De La Rosa, M & Brennan D. (2012). Correlates of HIV testing for older Latina Women.  Journal of Women and Aging. 24, 2.

Craig, S. L. (2011). Precarious partnerships: Designing a community needs assessment to develop a system of care for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) youth. Journal of Community Practice. 19, 1-18.

Brennan, D., Craig, S.L. & Thompson, D. (2011). Factors Associated with a Drive for Muscularity among Men who have Sex with Men. Culture, Health & Sexuality. DOI:10.1080/13691058.2011.619578

Dentato, M., Craig, S.L., & Smith, M. (2010). The vital role of social workers in community partnerships: The alliance for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender youth. Child and Adolescent Work Journal, 22, 5, 323-334.

Beaulaurier, R. L., Craig, S. L., & De La Rosa, M. (2009). Latina Seniors and HIV/AIDS. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 52(1), 48-63.

Craig, S. L., Tucker, E. W., & Wagner, E. F. (2008). Empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: Lessons learned from a safe schools summit. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 20, 3, 237-252.

External Research Grants: 

Principal Investigator
Social Science and Humanities Research Council
Clicking to Cope? The Influence of Information and Communication Technologies on the Resilience, Social Support and School Engagement of Canada’s Sexual and Gender Minority Youth.

Principal Investigator
Canadian Institute of Health Research
Community-Based Affirmative Coping Skills Training to Reduce HIV/AIDS Risk for Sexual Minority Youth: An Open Pilot Feasibility Study.

Principal Investigator
Canadian Institute for Health Research
MySpace to be Queer: Youth, New Media and Health Promotion. Café Scientifique

Principal Investigator
Connaught New Researcher Award
Social Workers in Canadian Health Care: A National Study of Roles and Positionality within Interprofessional Teams.

Principal Investigator
Royal Bank Fellowship Fund
Social Work Speaks Out: A Study of the Experiences and Readiness to Practice of Social Work Students

Principal Investigator
Social Science and Humanities Research Council
Survivors or Victims? The Influence of the Media on Experiences of Resiliency for Sexual Minority Youth.

Principal Investigator
Lesbian Health Fund: Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Self-Efficacy & Health Risks: A Mixed Method Study of Multi-ethnic Lesbian and Bisexual Youth.

Canadian Institute of Health Research
A Mixed Method Exploration of Sexual Behaviour, Social Networks and Health Services Engagement among Younger Gay, Bisexual, and other Men who use the Internet to Seek Sex with Men (MISM) in Ontario.
Brennan, D. (PI)

Canadian Institute of Health Research
Connected Communities: A Strengths-Based Research Program for Health Equity & Health Promotion Among African/Caribbean/Black Men in Canada.
McCready, L. (PI)

Co-Investigator (one of multiple CO-Is)
FireFly Foundation
Raising Teen Advocacy for Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Chow, T. (PI)

Co-Investigator (one of multiple Co-Is)
Canadian Institute of Health Research
From Hospital to Community: A Collective Case Study of the Discharge and Transition Experience of Adults with HIV/AIDS.
Brennan, D. (PI)

Co-Investigator (one of multiple CO-Is)
Pilot-Testing a Group-Level Intervention to Reduce Risk for Sexual Transmission of HIV/STIs Among LGBTQ in Calgary and Toronto.
Logie, C. (PI)

The Sick Kids Foundation
Social Workers in Canadian Health Care: A Mixed Method Study of Skills, Interventions and Interprofessional Functioning.
Muskat, B. (PI)

Mitacs-Accelerate Graduate Research Internship Program
Prevention of Workplace Injuries amongst Temporary Foreign Workers employed in Toronto’s construction industry. How much do we actually know?
Bejan, R. (PI)

Co-Investigator (one of multiple CO-Is)
CHV (Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative) Team in Social and Behavioural Research on HIV Vaccines. CIHR: Emerging Team Grant
Social, Behavioural and Ethical Challenges of HIV Vaccine Development.
Newman, P. (PI)