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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Monique Mitchell, Ph.D., CT

Title: Lecturer
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-9542
Office: Hamilton 120
Resources: Curriculum Vita


Professor Monique Mitchell joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 2010. As a research assistant professor for the college’s Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS), she was state research director for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) for the University of South Carolina and South Carolina Department of Social Services. Mitchell developed a methodology during a six-year study from 2010 to 2016, which was recognized by the United States Children’s Bureau as a valuable contribution to the field that provided a model for other states to emulate. Her work demonstrates how NYTD data can be translated from research to practice and has influenced policy and practice at the state and national level. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina, Mitchell was an adjunct professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph, Canada.  

Mitchell’s research focuses on child welfare, trauma and thanatology (grief and loss). She was principal investigator for an externally-funded award by the John Templeton Foundation on enhancing the lives of youth in foster care. Part of Mitchell’s research was asking more than 200 youth ages 20-21 with foster care experience, “What advice would you give a youth who needs inspiration?” The data collected from 2015 to 2017 was included in her second book, Living in an Inspired World: Voices and Visions of Youth in Foster Care (Child Welfare League of America Press, 2017). She is currently working with Professor Cheri Shapiro, interim director of the IFS, on an ASPIRE-I internal grant for developing and exploring an innovative intervention for children’s grief in foster care.

Mitchell’s publications focus on child welfare to inform policy and practice and develop resources to serve youth in foster care. Her first book, The Neglected Transition: Building a Relational Home for Children Entering Foster Care (Oxford University Press, 2016), explored children’s experiences of loss and ambiguity during the transition into foster care. Mitchell is a national expert on the impact of removal on children in foster care and is regularly invited by state agencies to conduct presentations for judges, attorneys and child welfare professionals. She has recently authored scientific journal articles on topics including, grief and trauma in foster care, maintaining contact with youth in transition as research participants, and the psychological effects of ambiguous loss for children in foster care. Her articles have been featured in scholarly journals such as, the Journal of Social Work, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, and the Journal of Family Theory and Review.

Since 2015, Mitchell has been a member of the Child Welfare League of America National Blueprint Implementation Guide Advisory Committee. She was previously chair of the Child Trauma Special Interest Group, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Mitchell received her Master of Science in capacity building and extension, and her Ph.D. in family relations and human development from the University of Guelph. She also earned a Fellowship in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) in 2017.