Yvonne (Eevie) Smith studies the youth care workforce in therapeutic residential care. Her recent ethnographic study investigates the challenges and opportunities of hiring, training, and retaining an expert workforce in these complex settings, where client violence, intensive regulatory oversight, and moral distress can be an everyday part of work. Her research demonstrates that, in order to provide safe and effective treatment for vulnerable youth in care, we must also systematically address the vulnerability of those who care for them. Dr. Smith’s current research partnership aims to develop and evaluate sustainable approaches to providing effective, humane care for youth in therapeutic residential care. Dr. Smith has practice experience in youth residential treatment, harm reduction outreach, supportive and transitional housing, and therapeutic foster care. She teaches a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses, including Human Diversity in Social Context, Advanced Integrated Social Work Practice, and Social Work and the Human/Animal Bond.
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
- Mathias, J., Doering-White, J., Smith, Y., & Hardesty, M. (20Mathias, J., Doering-White, J., Smith, Y., & Hardesty, M. (2021). Situated Causality: What Ethnography Can Contribute to Causal Inquiry in Social Work. Social Work Research, 45(1), 7-18. 21). Situated Causality: What Ethnography Can Contribute to Causal Inquiry in Social Work. Social Work Research, 45(1), 7-18.
- Smith, Y. (2020). Can children be safe if their caregivers are not?: Reflections on the “Promise” study of workforce issues in a residential treatment center for children. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 37(2), 156-173.
- Smith, Y., & Colletta, L. (2019). Intensive oversight of youth residential treatment: Staff perspectives on the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. Child Abuse and Neglect, 91, 52-62.
- Smith, Y., Colletta, L., & Bender, A.E. (2018). Moral people or moral projects?: Worker altruism in youth residential treatment. Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry, 43(1), 25-55.
- Smith, Y., Colletta, L., Bender, A.E. (2017). Client violence against youth care workers: Findings of an exploratory study of workforce issues in residential treatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(5-6), 1-25.