Dr. Kathryn Levine's interdisciplinary program of study focuses on child welfare and mental health. Her research interests include:

Some of Dr. Levine's current research projects include: 

Exploring system change to improve educational outcomes of children in care (2017-2021)
Funder: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant 
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kathryn Levine
Co-Investigators: Dr. Dawn Sutherland, Dr. Melanie Janzen, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

The purpose of the project was to explore and document systems changes as ways to improve the educational experiences for children and youth in care by:  

  • Developing and expanding relationships between education and child welfare professionals;  
  • Documenting factors that lead to improved educational experiences for children in care; 
  • Developing recommendations and sharing knowledge across and throughout systems. 

Partners in the research project included in the research project included the Seven Oaks School Division, four of their schools, two child welfare agencies (Metis Child and Family Services and Winnipeg Child and Family Services), Voices, and the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth. 

Project activities: Activities that emerged from the collaborations that aimed to support the work of professionals with children in care included:  

  • the collection and analysis of legislation and policies related to children in care from all provinces and territories across Canada; 
  • the development of a school-initiated course. The course focuses on self-advocacy for high school students within education and child welfare systems and is now registered at the ministry of education as a course that can be offered by high schools in Manitoba for credit; 
  • the development, implementation, and evaluation of a graduate-level course focused on inter-professional approaches to supporting children in care in schools. This was first offered in 2019 and is being redeveloped as an online offering for Spring, 2021; 
  • the provision of support and work with the school-based advocacy groups; 
  • receiving funding for a Children’s Rights’ video development project (which is currently on hold due to Covid). 

Submission of a proposal to the SSHRC Connections Grant program for the outreach project entitled A National Forum on Educational Equity for Children and Youth in Care.

Looking After Each Other: A Dignity Promotion Project (2017-2023)
Funder: SSHRC Partnership Grant
Principal Investigator: Dr. Brenda Elias, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Co-applicants: Dr. Kathryn Levine, Dr. Marleny Bonnycastle, Dr. Marlyn Bennet, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

The Looking After Each Other Project ( has evolved as a significant initiative of the Manitoba FASD coalition.The coalition has diverse membership ranging from providers who assess and support children and adults and their families, adults with FASD, women, academics, and Indigenous communities, programs, and organizations.  Using a variety of research methods, the objective of this project is to document the perspectives of individuals, family members, caregivers, service providers, women, and Elders that facilitate dignity for anyone who has been impacted by FASD.  

White Polar Bear Circles (2019-2024)
Project Lead

Funded by the Substance Use and Addiction program of the Public Health Agency of Canada, White Polar Bear Circles is one of the first trauma-informed substance use programs developed specifically for women with intellectual disabilities or other neurodiversity’s, and legal involvement.  This program is the result of a collaborative, cross-sector initiative that recognized that women with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have experienced trauma at some point in their lives, which often resulted in substance use and conflict with the law.  What is also evident however is that this group of women does not fit with traditional or mainstream treatment programs. More importantly, we recognize that recovery from trauma is a long-term process that may not fit with short-term program models. White Polar Bear Circles was developed specifically to address their needs in a respectful, culturally safe, and rights-based manner that will support women for an 18-month period.  

Moving from social gambling to a problem with gambling (2018-2021)
Funder: Manitoba Research Gambling Program
Principal Applicant
Co-applicant: Dr. Noella Piquette, University of Lethbridge

Engaging women with intellectual disabilities and criminal justice involvement in health research (2020-2022)
Funder: George and Faye Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation
Principal Investigator
Co-applicant:  Dr. Tracey Bone, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

Teaching and supervision

Dr. Levine’s visionary practice as an educator was recognized in 2020 when she received a Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (SOTL) funding award.

The award allowed her to create a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary course with colleagues from the Faculty of Education to develop a shared understanding of how kids can be supported within the child welfare system. The unique course is the first of its kind to bring together these two key professions of educators and social workers.

Service and membership

In the disability community, Dr. Levine volunteers as the chairperson of Opportunities for Independence, an agency that works with cognitively impaired individuals who find themselves in conflict with the law.


Selected publications:

Levine, K., Sutherland, D., & Janzen, M. (2020). Educating children in our care: An inter-professional dialogue. Advances in Social Work Practice, 20 (2), 252-265.

Levine, K., Sutherland, D., & Cole, D. (2018). Creating a lifelong career development model. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 17, (2), 25-44.

Levine, Kathryn Ann, Proulx, Jocelyn, & Schwartz, Karen. (2018). Disconnected Lives: Women with Intellectual Disabilities in Conflict with the Law. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31(2), 249-258.

Levine, K., & Sutherland, D. (2013). History repeats itself: Parental involvement in children’s career exploration. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 47,

Levine, K. (2013).Capacity building and empowerment practice. In B. Trute and D. Hiebert-Murphy (Eds.) Partnering with Parents: Family Centred Practice in Children's Services, pp. 107-129. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Levine, K. (2013). A case study of family centred practice. In B. Trute and D. Hiebert-Murphy (Eds.) Partnering with Parents: Family Centred Practice in Children's Services, pp. 198-216. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Levine, K. & Sutherland, D. (2012). An evaluation of parental perspectives on education in Skownan First Nation. Canadian Centre on Policy Alternatives – Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB.

Levine, K. A., & Rennpferd, R. (2012). Hitting the target: Transitioning youth with high-risk behaviours. In D. Fuchs, S. McKay, & I. Brown (Eds). Awakening the Spirit: Moving Forward in Child Welfare. Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Center.