Yvonne (Eevie) Smith’s research addresses the complex ways that mental health workers use knowledge from multiple sources to shape their everyday practice. Her ongoing ethnographic research in youth residential treatment centers explores the processes through which workers develop expertize in their sites of practice, pointing to a need for greater recognition and transmission of organization-specific local knowledge. Her most recent study investigates the unique challenges and opportunities of hiring, training, and retaining an expert workforce in the complex field of youth residential treatment.
Eevie has practiced in a range of social work settings, including residential treatment for adolescents with mental illness, harm reduction outreach with substance users, supportive and transitional housing, and therapeutic foster care. She has an interest in milieu-based interventions and the growing area of animal-assisted therapies.
Ph.D., School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
Master of Arts in Social Work (A.M.), School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
Bachelor of Art (B.A.) in English, Ohio Wesleyan University
workforce issues in youth residential treatment, clinical expertise and decision-making, apprenticeship learning in social work practice, psychotherapeutic process, ethnographic methods, animals in social work
SWK 328: Human Diversity in Social Contexts
SWK 403/603: Social Work and the Human-Animal Bond
SWK 626: Persons in Social Context
SKW 628: Human Diversity in Social Contexts
SWK 743: Advanced Integrated Social Work Practice
- Smith, Y. [forthcoming] Beyond “common sense”: The role of local knowledge in youth residential treatment. Social Work Research.
- Smith, Y. (2017). “Sense” and sensitivity: Informal apprenticeship among youth care workers in a residential treatment center for children. Child and Family Social Work. [early web publication, issue forthcoming]
- Smith, Y., & Spitzmueller, M. C. (2016). Worker perspectives on contemporary milieu therapy: A cross-site ethnographic study. Social Work Research, 40(2), 105-116.
- Smith, Y. (2014). Making clinical decisions when ‘behavior has meaning’: An ethnographic study of expertise in a residential treatment center for children and adolescents. Qualitative Social Work, 13, 8-25.
- Smith, Y. (2014). Rethinking decision making: An ethnographic study of worker agency in crisis intervention. Social Service Review, 88(3), 407-442.
- Carr, E. S., & Smith, Y. (2014). The poetics of therapeutic practice: Motivational interviewing and the powers of pause. Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry, 38, 83-114.
- Elkin, I., Falconnier, L., Smith, Y., Canada, K. E., Henderson, E., Brown, E. R., and McKay, B. M. (2014). Therapist responsiveness and patient engagement in therapy. Psychotherapy Research, 24(1), 52-66.