Dr. Jennifer Hedges research program focuses on social work education and the field of child welfare. Her most recent work explored how transformative learning experiences can prepare students for working in child welfare and addressing some of the challenges in this system. Her research interests include:

Teaching and supervision

Teaching in the faculty’s Inner City Social Work Program, Dr. Hedges is committed to transformative education that is relational and rooted in feminist pedagogies. She uses a variety of creative teaching methods to engage students and build relationships. Anti-racist and Indigenous perspectives inform her practice as she works toward truth and reconciliation within post-secondary education and the profession of social work. She is eager to support students on their learning journey.

Over the years, Dr. Hedges has developed and taught a variety of courses including social welfare, contemporary issues, anti-racist practice, and environmental justice.

Recent courses:
SWRK 4200/4300 Field Focus, Child Welfare
SWRK 4210 Feminist Perspectives in Social Work
SWRK 2090 Human Behavior

Fellowships and awards

Dr. Hedges has received the following fellowships and awards:


Selected publications:

Hedges, J. Milliken, E. & Campbell, M.L. (2022). The heart of allyship: Examining the pursuit of ally relationships with Indigenous Peoples in child welfare and social work education. In J. Albert, D. Badry, D. Fuchs, P. Choate, M. Bennett, and H. M.  Montgomery (Eds.), Walking together: The future of Indigenous child welfare on the prairies. University of Regina Press.

Rinfrette, E., Rine, C., Pugh, D., Zaleski, K.L., Araque, J.C., Hedges, J. (2021). Preparing Students for Trauma Exposure in Field Education Settings. Field Education, 11.1.

Hedges, J. (2018). Transforming the classroom: Supporting critical change in social work education in the spirit of reconciliation for child welfare. In D. Badry, M. Montgomery, D. Kikulwe, M. Bennett, & D. Fuchs (Eds.), Imagining child welfare in the spirit of reconciliation (pp.249-267). University of Regina Press.

Hedges, J. (2015).  Review of the book How to get kids offline, outdoors, and connecting with nature: 200+ creative activities to encourage self-esteem, mindfulness, and wellbeing, by Bonnie Thomas. Health and Social Work, 40(2), 158-160.


Selected presentations:

Hedges, J (March 2022) Transforming the Child Welfare System in Canada: Next Steps for Teaching Social Work Students. International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Quebec City, QB.

Hedges, J (May 2020) Exploring the role of Social Work Education for transformation in Child Welfare in Canada. The 11th Nordic Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Helsinki, Finland – postponed.

Hedges, J. (June 2019) Developing a Model for Social Work Education that Prepares Students for Critical Practice in Child Welfare. Canadian Association of Social Work Education, Vancouver, BC.

Hedges, J. (May 2019) Critical Transformation of Social Work Education for the Future of Child Welfare. Qualitative Inquiry Congress, Champaign. IL.

Hedges, J. (Oct 2018) Social Work Education as a Platform for Critical Transformation in Child Welfare Policy and Practice. National Child Welfare Conference, Calgary, AB.

Hedges, J. (July 2018) Social Work Education as a Platform for Critical Transformation. International Federation of Social Workers, Dublin, Ireland.

Hedges, J., Montgomery, M., Fuchs, D. Badry, D., Rocke, C., & Kiliwike, D. (May 2018) Prairie Child Welfare Consortium: Promoting Knowledge Mobilization, Strengthening Capacity and Promoting Dialogue in the Spirit of Reconciliation. Canadian Association of Social Work Education, Regina, SK.

Hedges, J. (Oct 2017) How Social Work Education can Prepare Social Workers to Make a Difference in Child Welfare. International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Rine, C. & Hedges, J. (Jan 2015) Spatial Analysis of Child Welfare Constituents. Society for Social Work and Research, New Orleans, LA.

Hedges, J. (Nov 2014) Using Competition, Role-Play and Community Support to Teach Interpersonal Skills. NACSW Annual Conference, Annapolis, MD.