Wes Shera

Professor; B.A. Psychology, University of Regina, Canada; M.A. Social Work, University of Calgary, Canada; Ph.D. Community Systems Planning & Development, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Phone Number: 
(416) 978-5900
Office Location: 

Room 436

Research Interests: 
  • Mental Health
  • Empowerment Practice Community Organization
  • Organizational Behavior/Organizational Development
  • Social Policy
  • Evaluation Research
  • International Development

Wes Shera, is Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. He is also cross-appointed as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He previously held academic positions at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and the University of Hawaii in the U.S. From 1995 to 2002 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and was able to achieve significant increases in research activity and financial support for the Faculty.

Dr. Shera earned his master’s degree in social welfare from the University of Calgary in 1975 and his doctorate in interdisciplinary social planning from Pennsylvania State University in 1982. His areas of teaching include community organization, social policy, groupwork, management and social work practice in the field of mental health. Dr. Shera’s research focuses on operationalizing and testing concepts of empowerment in working with clients, organizations, and communities. He has authored several books and numerous refereed publications. He has also been involved for many years as a consultant on several international projects in Sri Lanka, China, Ireland, Mexico, Cuba and Britain. A particular focus of this work has been on comparative policy analysis of mental health system reform in Canada, Israel, Britain, and Australia. His work in China has included elementary and secondary school reform, educational evaluation, capacity-building for schools of social work, community development, and the development of the non-profit (charity sector) in China.

Publications In Refereed Journals: 

Shera, W. & Ramon, S. (2013).  Challenges in the implementation of recovery-oriented mental health policies and services: An analysis of developments in England and Canada.  International Journal of Mental Health, 42(2/3), 17-42.

Shera. W., Muskat, B., Delay, D., Quinn, A. & Tufford, L. (2013). Using a group work standards inventory to evaluate the outcomes of a “Social Work Practice with Groups” course. Social Work Practice with Groups, 36(2/3),174-190.

Mfaofo-McCarthy, M. & Shera, W. (2012-2013).  Beyond community treatment orders: Empowering clients to achieve community integration.  International Journal of Mental Health, 41(4), 62-82.

Gottlieb, B., Maitland, S., & Shera, W. (2013). Take this job and love it: A model of support, job satisfaction and affective commitment among managers of volunteers. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1), 65-83..

Dill, K., & Shera, W.(Eds.). (2012). Implementing evidence-informed practice: International Perspectives.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Shera, W., & Dill, K. (2012).  Promoting evidence-informed practice in child welfare in Ontario: Progress, challenges and future directions. Research on Social Work Practice, 22(2), 204-213.

Law, S., Liu, P., Hodges, b., Shera, W., Huang, X., Zaheer, J., & Links, P. (2012). Introducing psychiatry to rural physicians in China: An innovative education project. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(12), 1249-1254.

Zaheer, J., Links, P., Law, S., Shera, W., Hodges, A., Tsang, K.T., Huang, X., & Lui, P. (2011-2012). Developing a matrix model of rural suicide prevention. International Journal of Mental Health, 40(4), 28-49.

Browne, F. & Shera, W. (2010).  Mental health reform in Ireland: Social Workers’ perceptions of progress. Irish Social Worker (Winter), 17-21.

Dill, K. & Shera, W. (2010). Connecting the dots: Making evidence-informed practice a reality in child welfare organizations.  Protecting Children, 25(1), 86-98.

Shera, W. (2009).  Empowerment through client and family councils: Critical issues in implementation.  Social Work & Reality,  18(2), 11-30.

Quinn, A., & Shera, W. (2009).  Evidence-based practice with incarcerated youth.  International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 32, 288-293.

Dill, K., & Shera, W. (2009).  Designing for success: The development of a child welfare research utilization initiative. Evidence and Policy, 5(2), 155-177.

Ramon, S., Shera, W., Healy, W., Lachman, M., & Renouf, N. (2009).  The rediscovered concept of recovery in mental illness: A multi-country comparison of policy and practice.  International Journal of Mental Health, 18(2), 105-124.

Shera, W. (2008). Changing organizational culture to achieve excellence in research.  Social Work Research, 32(4). 275-280.