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Elissa E. Madden, PhD, LMSW

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Elissa Madden received a Ph.D. in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin and an MSW and a BA in Social Work from Baylor University. Elissa began teaching at UTA in the Fall of 2010.  Her research interests are in the areas of child welfare and direct practice with children and families.

Service Learning Class

SOCW 2313: SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE I – Critical evaluation of the value base of the social work profession and basic practice concepts in a framework for understanding a variety of intervention models.

Academic Outcomes

  • To broaden the student's understanding of the social work "helping process" concept from a generalist perspective.
  • To facilitate the student's ability to identify, define and apply skills used to establish and maintain an accepting, professional social work relationship with a client, family, group, or larger system.
  • To increase the student’s critical thinking and understanding of the phases of a helping relationship (beginning, middle, and termination), and apply skills used to sustain a professional relationship in each phase with individuals, families and groups.
  • To enable the student to understand the value base of the Social Work profession and identify, and develop, skills in exploring relevant racial, cultural, gender, and spiritual issues when they arise in the professional relationship, and incorporating this information into the social work helping process.
  • To enable the student to evaluate one’s own personal characteristics, professional skills, and strengths and weaknesses in working with and relating to others.

Service Learning Project

Developing Direct Social Work Practice Skills

In Social Work Practice I, undergraduate students will partner with Child Protective Services (CPS) to assist the agency in two ways: 1) assisting agency trainers with a 35-hour competency-based training program for prospective foster and adoptive families who have expressed an interest in caring for children in the Texas foster care system and 2) assisting with preparations for an annual event designed to help adolescents in the foster care system (high school juniors and seniors) who reside in the DFW area prepare for prom.  The students will assist the youth as they attend sessions on appropriate etiquette, different dance styles, and by helping them to select formal prom attire.

This partnership will provide students with hands-on opportunities to engage and build rapport with various agency stakeholders (e.g., agency staff, prospective foster and adoptive families, and adolescents in the Texas foster care system and their current foster families) and will enable them to identify the different phases of a helping process. CPS has asked that students from UTA provide the agency with written feedback regarding their experience working with the agency so that the agency might assess their own efforts to engage and promote partnerships with university students.  CPS will use this feedback to improve their own internal policies and procedures for working with area universities.


Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS)