James Whittaker

James Whittaker

Professor Emeritus
PhD, University of Minnesota

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Dr. Whittaker’s research and teaching interests encompass the integration of evidence-based practices into contemporary child & family services including residential treatment, therapeutic foster care and intensive community and family-centered treatment alternatives, child welfare history and cross-national comparisons of child and family policy and services. He holds an AB from Boston College and an MSW from the University of Michigan.

A frequent contributor to the professional literature, Dr. Whittaker is author, co-author and editor of eight books and nearly 100 peer review papers and book chapters. In all, his works have been translated into Dutch, Danish, German, French, Italian, Japanese and Korean.

He presently serves on the editorial review boards of a number of social service journals including: Social Service Review (U.S.); Journal of Public Child Welfare(U.S.); The British Journal of Social Work (U.K.); Child & Family Social Work (U.K.) ;International Journal of Child & Family Welfare (Belgium) and Child & Youth  Services (U.S.). He is a founding member of  IAOBER, The International Association for Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family & Children’s Services(Padova, Italy) and an Associated Board member of EUSARF, the European Scientific Association for Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents(Groningen, The Netherlands).

Dr. Whitaker believes technology now affords us the opportunity to carry on a sustained conversation between child and family researchers, practitioners and policy makers and conduct cross-national analyses of critical service issues. The subtle ways in which promising ‘model interventions’ are shaped and altered to fit differing political, socio-cultural and regional contexts are of particular interest to him. He observes that: “Despite our great size and wealth, U.S. child and family policy and practice remain insular in its thinking and much in need of fresh perspectives on how differing societies deal with common service challenges.” 

On Oct. 4, 2018, Dr. Whittaker received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Scientific Association for Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF) at its 15th International Conference in Porto, Portugal.