Two researchers sitting together in front of four large monitors in a lab talking.

Social action. Social justice. Social change. Research areas

The knowledge generated by our social work researchers is shared with other academics, students, government policy-makers, not-for-profit social service organizations, individuals who make use of social work services and supports and members of the general public.

  • A person sitting down working on a laptop.
  • The Faculty of Social Work's research focuses include: 

    • human rights and social justice
    • child welfare
    • family violence
    • social determinants of mental health
    • Indigenous methodologies and ways of being

Collaborate with us

We are always interested in hearing about issues that arise in the field, which may require further investigation and research. If you have a research idea that you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact any of our researchers who work in that area.

Bolaji Akinyele-Akanbi: intimate partner violence/family violence, Immigrant and refugee issues, anti-oppressive/anti-colonial perspective, health and mental health issues, community-based research, social work and spirituality, racial injustice, critical cultural and African feminism analyses

Michael Baffoe: anti-oppression, human rights, immigrant and refugee issues, international social work, community development

Monica Anne Batac: Immigration, labour migration; community organizing, development, and practice; program design and evaluation; non-profit management; critical Filipino/a/x studies, Filipino diaspora; transnational feminism, anti-racism; decolonizing methodologies, critical qualitative research, action research, community-based research

Tracey Bone: mental health in marginalized populations, Deaf identity and Deaf mental health, deaf language and culture, criminal justicedomestic violence, social work practice, eating disorders and their impacts, mental health recovery

Marleny Munoz Bonnycastle: FASD, immigrants and refugees, human rights, child welfare, poverty, Indigenous social work, homelessness and housing, women and feminism 

Maria Cheung: Human rights, genocide studies, spiritual minorities, gender studies, international social work, immigrant and refugee, anti-oppression, Indigenous social work

David C. J. Delay: mental health, mindfulness-based interventions, intimate partner violence and treatment, men’s health and healing

Mary Kate Dennis: Indigenous elders, loss and grief, food sovereignty, environmental justice

Sid Frankel: nonprofit sector, poverty reduction policy (including basic income), population health promotion, voluntary and non-profit sector, social policy, research methodology, economic security

Deana Halonen: Indigenous social work, international social work, distance education

Diane Hiebert-Murphy: family violence, family-centred practice

Michelle Elizabeth Jonathan: relationship dynamics in marriage, parent-child relationship, technology and couple relationship, gender discrimination in families, social work interventions for families, biblical perspective of marriage enrichment

Mohammad N. Khan: economic well-being, financial capability, (Im)migration, disaster management, decolonization

Kathy Levine: mental health, child welfare, family violence, family-centered practice, youth, violence against women

Lindsay Larios: Canadian immigration and refugee policy, precarious status migration, citizenship and borders, immigration as a reproductive justice issue, politics of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood, access to healthcare, critical feminist policy analysis, community-based research

Hai Luo: aging, addictions, social capital, international social work, Indigenous social work

Christine Mayorcritical approaches to trauma, trauma-informed schools, whiteness and anti-Black racism, educational equity, anti-carceral and abolitionist social work , arts in social work practice, pedagogy, and research and drama therapy

James P. (Jim) Mulvale: economic security, distance education, social justice, social work theory

Jennifer Hedges: critical and feminist pedagogy, anti-oppressive practice, moral courage in social work, allyship relationships, child welfare, co-teaching and peer learning

Kendra Nixon: violence against women, intimate partner violence, child protection, social welfare, social and family policy

Rusty Souleymanov: community-based research, social work in healthcare, decolonizing and Indigenizing health, marginalization, poverty, and access to health and social services, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, substance use, harm reduction, and drug policy, racial, ethnic, and cultural inequities in health, mental health

Ashley Stewart-Tufescu: children's rights, adverse childhood experiences, child maltreatment, parenting, discipline, child welfare, mental health, family violence, program evaluation

Collaborating with our community

Our colleague Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi published a book titled: "Culture, Diversity and Mental Health - Enhancing Clinical Practice". The book discusses the importance of culture and diversity within society through multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural encounters while applying psychological effectiveness to manage core competencies. 

Al-Krenawi is a professor and chair of the BSW Program, Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben-Guiron University of the Negev. 

Dr. Tracey Bone, Faculty of Social Work Associate Professor, also contributes a chapter in this book titled: "Deaf Mental Health: Enhancing Linguistically and Culturally Appropriate Clinical Practice".

For more information on this publication, please visit book website.

Ongoing support projects

Couples Counselling Project

Many couples that have experienced abuse/violence in their relationship choose to stay together. The Couples Counselling Project (CCP) is a service, training, and research program designed to help couples that have experienced abuse/violence in the past and want to work towards an abuse free-relationship.

When does abuse/violence occur?

  • When someone threatens, mocks, insults, belittles, ridicules, or coerces another person. (This includes any behavior that causes one partner in a couple to feel frightened or worthless.)
  • When someone strikes or threatens to hurt another person. (This includes pinches, pushes, slaps, and punches; it also includes preventing free movement, throwing or hitting objects, and unwanted sexual contact.)

In the CCP a co-therapy team works with couples who have experienced abuse/violence in the past and want to work towards an abuse/violence-free relationship. The program emphasizes safety while addressing the impact of abuse/violence. The overall goal of the program is the prevention of further abuse and greater relationship satisfaction.

Areas that may be addressed include: strategies to reduce the risk of future abuse in the relationship, identifying and addressing the effects of the abuse on individuals and on the relationship, effective problem solving and conflict resolution, supportive and respectful communication, and rebuilding trust. Services offered include couples conjoint therapy and couples group therapy.

The Couples Couselling Project is appropriate for couples:

  • who have experienced abuse/violence in their relationships in the past but the abuse/violence has stopped.
  • when individuals who have behaved abusively/violently accept responsibility for their behaviour and can contract for continued non-violence and when individuals who have been hurt by the aggressive behaviour can develop a safety plan.
  • who are committed to developing a non-abusive partner relationship.

The Couples Couselling Project is not appropriate when:

  • violence is ongoing.
  • either partner is abusing alcohol or other substances.
  • either partner is suicidal.
  • there are domestic violence charges pending.

Couples Counselling Project service information

Services offered by the Couples Couselling Project are confidential and free of charge. Clients can contact the Couples Couselling Project directly or can be referred by other professionals in the community. We will work with clients to determine which services will be most useful. 

The Couples Counselling Project is funded by the Family Violence Prevention Program, Department of Family Services and Labour, Government of Manitoba.

For more information, please contact:

The Couples Counselling Project
The University of Manitoba
485 Selkirk Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R2W 2M6 Canada
204- 474-6711

Research resources

Contact us

David C. J. Delay
Associate dean, Graduate Programs and Research
Faculty of Social Work
Room 418H Tier Building
173 Dafoe Rd. W
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M9 Canada

204 474-7594

Erik Magnusson
Research grants facilitator
Faculty of Social Work
Room 500E Tier Building
173 Dafoe Rd W.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M9