Caroline James serves as a lecturer and faculty member in the Office of Field Education, teaching and facilitating student field education placements with students across the School’s academic programs, including the MSW Extended Degree Program, MSW Day Program, MSW Advanced Standing Program and the BASW Program.
After working first as an immigration officer and then in library sciences in Singapore, Caroline changed careers, receiving bachelor of arts and sciences degrees in social work and communications, and received her MSW in 2003 from the University of Washington. For her entire social work career Caroline has held positions at the Interim Community Development Association (ICDA), in numerous capacities, most recently serving as director of the Housing Services Programs. She has also been a practicum instructor for UW School of Social Work bachelor- and master-degree candidates.
Caroline is committed to serving disenfranchised and vulnerable populations with a focus on immigrants and refugees. At ICDA she successfully piloted a shelter program, which moved away from communal living to individual units to better serve families with a cultural lens. This was a new concept in 2002. This program has now evolved to include confidential transitional housing units for survivors of domestic violence, paving the way for the implementation of the Solace DV Program.
Through her leadership, her program has been sought to assist with piloting many innovative projects funded by the city, county and foundations, such as DV Housing First Flexible Funds, Diversion, and Rapid Rehousing for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Most recently, ICDA’s Housing Services Program was selected to provide services for the Pilot: Creating Moves To Opportunity (CMTO) Program led by economist Raj Shetty and his Harvard research team; researchers at Opportunity Insights; and several other universities that partnered with Seattle and King County housing authorities to evaluate a housing mobility program across King County, Washington. This initiative represents one of the only randomized evaluations of a housing mobility program in the United States and has received national acclaim in 2019; it is in its final execution phase. Caroline managed the budget, staff, and contract development with housing authorities, researchers and evaluators, ensuring that services comply with the research design.