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Karen Sewell


MSW (2006, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto)
BSW/BA (1997, McMaster University)


Research interests:  clinical supervision, child and youth mental health, program development, intervention research, social work education with a focus on simulation

Karen is a doctoral student, course instructor, faculty-field liaison, research coordinator, and  research assistant with the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW). Informed by over 20 years of practice, her program of research aims to promote the mental health of vulnerable children and youth. The specific focus is on the improvement of mental health through the development, delivery, evaluation, and implementation of effective programs. Supervision is a key component. Her current attention is to articulating and studying a clinical supervision model for an evidence-based program. The aim of the model is to provide the best service for clients through enhancing and supporting implementation, while meeting the educational and emotional needs of staff. This includes educating for and supporting the development and ongoing maintenance of holistic competence for workers and students with a focus on emotion-regulation.

Her clinical experience in child and youth mental health involves front-line family and child work in an evidence-based program for children with disruptive behaviour problems along with agency leadership in clinical supervision, professional training, and program development. Within this role, she has been a Field Instructor, Adjunct and guest Lecturer with FIFSW. She has also worked in child welfare, education, and developmental sectors.

She currently holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral, awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. She is involved in research and facilitation within the simulation program at FIFSW. She is a research coordinator for a study examining and creating an innovative response to the mental health needs of children and adolescents within the Toronto District School Board. She is also currently a Faculty-Field Liaison with FIFSW supporting first and second year MSW students in their field practicums.  She has taught in the Child and Youth Worker and Forensic Social Work programs at Humber College.