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Faculty & Staff

Emily Bosk

Assistant Professor, Social Work

Ph.D. Sociology and Social Work University of Michigan MSW University of Michigan BA Vassar College

Dr. Bosk’s research interests include child wellbeing, child welfare services and policy, integration of social service systems, and infant mental health.


Emily Bosk is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and a Faculty Affiliate with the Institute for Health, Health Policy, and Aging Research, the Center for Violence Against Women and Children, and the Department of Sociology. Trained as both a sociologist and a clinical social worker, Dr. Bosk works at the intersection of social theory and applied practice.  Her research uses rigorous social science methods to theorize how organizations and individuals understand and intervene with vulnerable children and families and to trace out the policy and practice implications of these approaches. 

Current research includes: analysis of standardized decision-making in child welfare at the individual, organizational, and policy level; issues related to the lack of integration of social service systems for families; understandings of ‘badness’ in young children and adolescents; programs to support parent-child relationships and infant mental health.

Dr. Bosk has held fellowships in The Prevention of Child Maltreatment and the Promotion of Child Wellbeing through the Doris Duke Foundation and in Clinical Social Work in the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services Division at the Yale Child Study Center. Her work has been funded by grants from The National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation.

Committed to translating her research work for policymakers and practitioners, Dr. Bosk has provided consultation to child welfare agencies in several states. 

Courses Taught: 

  • Direct Social Work Practice I
  • Psychopathology

Selected Recent Publications: 

Bosk, E.A., Van Alst, D., Van Scoyoc, A (Forthcoming) A Chronic Problem: Competing Paradigms for Substance Abuse in Child Welfare Policy and Practice and the Need for New Approaches. British Journal of Social Work. Special Issue: Fresh Thinking for Child and Family Social Work in the 21st Century

Bosk, E.A., (forthcoming) What Counts: Quantification, Worker Judgment and Divergence in Child Welfare Decision-Making. Human Service Organizations: Management Leadership, & Governance. Special Issue: Human Service Agencies and the Question of Impact. 

MacKenzie, M. J., Bosk, E., & Zeanah, C. H. (2017). Separating Families at the Border — Consequences for Children’s Health and Well-Being. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(24), 2314-2315. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1703375(4) 

Martin, K. A., Bosk, E., & Bailey, D. (2017). Teachers’ Perceptions of Childcare and Preschool Expulsion. Children & Society.

Powell, B. J., Bosk, E. A., Wilen, J. S., Danko, C. M., Van Scoyoc, A., & Banman, A. (2015). Evidence-Based Programs in "Real World" Settings: Finding the Best Fit. In D. Daro, A. Cohn Donnelly, L. A. Huang & B. J. Powell (Eds.), Advances in Child Abuse Prevention Knowledge: The Perspective of New Leadership. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. 

Bosk, Emily Adlin. 2013.  Between Badness and Sickness: Reconsidering Medicalization for High-Risk Children and Youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(8), 1212-1218.   

Awarded the Henry J. Meyer Award for Outstanding Paper in Social Work and Social Science. 

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