Assistant Professor and MSW Coordinator

Dr. Heather L. Girvin

Dr. Heather L. Girvin

Assistant Professor and MSW Coordinator


Heather.Girvin@millersville.edu
Office: McComsey 332
Phone: 717.871.7181
Fax: 717.871.7941

Additional Information

Heather Girvin, Assistant Professor, teaches in the BSW, MSW, and DSW programs at Millersville University.  She is Co-Coordinator of the Millersville University-Shippensburg University MSW Program, the first collaborative program of its kind in the country.  Dr. Girvin earned her bachelor of sciences in sociology from Dickinson College and a master’s degree in social service and doctorate in social work from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research.  Dr. Girvin’s practice experience centers on children and families.  She has worked in residential programs, provided in-home services, and public child welfare agencies, primarily in child protective services and foster care.

Teaching Interests

After teaching at Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research and University of Maryland, Graduate School of Social Work, Dr. Girvin arrived at Millersville University during the inaugural year of the MSW program.  She has been instrumental in the development and accreditation of that program and continues at its helm.  Dr. Girvin teaches across all program levels, focusing primarily on courses that relate to diversity and cultural competence, child welfare, family violence, and social theory.  Dr. Girvin is dedicated to the development and implementation of active and innovative learning, emphasizing critical thinking as a mechanism by which students learn to be competent practitioners. 

Research Interests

Dr. Girvin’s research has centered on families and children, with overarching interests in trauma, social justice, and social change.  Dr. Girvin has completed evaluations of child maltreatment prevention and treatment programs and partnered with colleagues to develop, implement, and assess interventions that address trauma and violence.  More recently, Dr. Girvin’s has adopted a more global perspective, traveling with colleagues to South Africa, Haiti, and Costa Rica to participate in service learning projects with students and conduct research.  Her interest in trauma experienced by families continues, with increased interest in methods of “helping” and the use of the expressive arts strategies to address trauma and activate social change processes.

Recent Scholarship, Publications and Presentations

Publications

Rice, K. & Girvin, H. (July, 2014). Lincoln Middle School Long-Term Residency: Final
            Report.
Final evaluation report prepared for Family Arts Collaborative and
            Pennsylvania Council of the Arts.

Rice, K. & Girvin, H. (May, 2014). MUth Theater Program Evaluation. Final
            evaluation report prepared for Family Arts Collaborative, MUth Theater.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. (2014). Engaging families, building relationships:
            Strategies for working across systems from a social exchange perspective.
            Advances in Social Work, 15,

Rice, K., Girvin, H., & Primak, S. (2014) Engaging adolescent youth in foster care
            through photography. Child Care Journal, 20, 37-47. Retrieved from
            http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13575279.2013.847054

Rice, K., Primak, S., & Girvin, H. (2013) Through their eyes: Using photography
            with youth who experienced trauma. The Qualitative Report, 18, 1-14.
            Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR18/rice52.pdf

Rice, K., Girvin, H., & Laspino, J. (October, 2012). Through Their Eyes: Training

            Manual for Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Programs.             Millersville, PA: Millersville University of PA.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. (2011). Building relationships across systems to enhance

            resiliency and improve foster care outcomes. Contemporary Rural Social          Work, 3, 50-58.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. (Summer, 2010). Using a strengths-based perspective to            change perceptions:  An exploratory study. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 15(2), 1-16.

Girvin, H., DePanfilis, D., & Daining, C. (2007). Predicting program completion          among families enrolled in a child neglect preventive intervention. Research        on Social Work Practice, 17(6), 674-685.

Littell, J.H., & Girvin, H. (December, 2006). Correlates of problem recognition and   intention to change among caregivers of abused and neglected children.    Child Abuse & Neglect, 30(12), 1381-1399.

DePanfilis, D., & Girvin, H. (2005). Investigating child maltreatment in out-of-            home care:  Barriers to effective decision-making. Children and Youth             Services Review, 27, 353-374.

Littell, J.H., & Girvin, H.(2005). Caregivers’ readiness for change:  Predictive   validity in a child welfare sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29(1), 59-80.

Girvin, H. (2004). Beyond ‘stages of change:’  Using readiness for change and             caregiver-reported problems to identify meaningful subgroups in a child welfare sample. Children and Youth Services Review, 26(10), 897-917.

Littell, J.H, & Girvin, H. (2004). Ready or not:  Uses of the stages of change model     in child welfare. Child Welfare, 83(4), 341-366.

Littell, J.H., & Girvin, H. (2002). Stages of change:  A critique. Behavior            Modification, 26(2), 223-273.

Girvin, H. (2000). Mothers and illicit drugs:  Transcending the myths, by Susan C.       Boyd, reviewed by Heather Girvin. Contemporary Drug Problems, 27, 383-   389.

Presentations

Rice, K. & Girvin, H. Cultural competency: Exploring dimensions of oppression.
            Training presented at CASA Volunteer Training, Lancaster, PA, August 4,
            2014.

Girvin, H., Rice, K., & Foels, L. Rurality: Global perspective. Paper presented at 39th
            Annual National Institute for Social Work and Human Services in Rural
            Areas: Building Bridges: Embracing Diversity, Silver City, NM, July 16-18,
            2014

Rice, K., Girvin, H. Through Their Eyes: Using photo-elicitation to explore bullying
            and promote change.  Paper presented at 1st Annual Learning Institute
            Conference: Global Youth: Understanding Challenges, Identifying Solutions,
            Offering Hope,
Lancaster, PA, July 9-10, 2014

Rice, K., Girvin, H. Arts-based treatment with youth exposed to trauma.  Six-hour
            Continuing Education (CEU) workshop presented as part of the Learning
            Institute: Global Well-Being and Social Change, Millersville University,
            February 7, 2014.

Rice, K., Foels, L., & Girvin, H. Measuring cultural competence among
            undergraduate students. Poster presented at Council on Social Work
            Education 59th Annual Program Meeting: Global Social Work: The World is
            Here,
in Dallas, TX, October 31-November 3, 2013.

Short, M., Rice, K., Girvin, H. Family Arts Collaborative: Building and sustaining
            relationships. Paper presented at the 37th Annual National Institute for
            Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas Conference: Rural Social
            Work at the Crossroads: Building Capacity, Nurturing Sustainability,
           
Nashville, IN, July 15-18, 2012.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. Differences in power: An ethnographic study of child welfare
            dependency hearings. Paper presented at the Human Rights, Social Justice,
            and Qualitative Research Forum.
Fordham University, New York, NY, April
            21, 2012.

Girvin, H., Rice, K., & Johnson, D. Writing across the social work curriculum: Facing challenges, assessing need, planning strategies. Workshop presented at the
            57th Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting: Increasing
           
Access: Confronting Disparity and Inequality. Atlanta, GA, October 27-30,
            2011.

Girvin, H. & Rice, K. Utilizing focus groups as a means for program evaluation.
            Workshop presented at the annual National Association of Social Workers-
            Pennsylvania Conference: Strengthening the Fabric of Society.
Lancaster,
            PA, October 13-15, 2011.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. Through their eyes: Using photography to mitigate the
            effects of trauma. Paper presented at the Be the Evidence: Arts for Change
            Forum
. Fordham University, New York, NY, September 24, 2011.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. What matters: Understanding and honoring youths’ culture.
            Paper presented at the 36th Annual Rural Social Work Institute: A Place to
            Call Home: Honoring Family and Culture in Rural Social Work Practice.
           
Natchitoches, LA, July 14-16, 2011.

Girvin, H. & Rice, K. Engaging families, building relationships: Strategies for
            working across systems. Paper presented at the annual The Field Center for
            Children’s Policy, Practice & Research: One Child, Many Hands: A
            Multidisciplinary Conference on Child Welfare.
Philadelphia, PA, June 8-10,
            2011.

Laspino, J., Rice, K., & Girvin, H. Through their eyes. Workshop to be presented at    the annual    Pennsylvania Court-Appointed Special Advocate Conference.     Summerdale, PA, June 20-21, 2011.

Girvin, H., & Rice, K. Developing cultural competence. Training presented to new    CASA volunteers at CASA of Lancaster County, Lancaster, PA, April 14,    2011.

Girvin, H., & Rice, K. Using social exchange theory to remake management in
            public child welfare. Paper presented at the annual conference of the
            National Network for Social Work Managers: Remaking Management for
            the 21st Century:  Vision, Technology, Practice. Baltimore, MD, April 28-29,
            2011.

Rice, K., Girvin, H., & Laspino, J. Through their eyes. Workshop presented at the
            2011National CASA Conference: Building Hope for Youth. Chicago, IL, March
            19-22, 2011.

Girvin, H.  A training to develop cultural competence.  CASA of Lancaster County       Volunteer Training.  Lancaster, PA, October 6, 2010.

Girvin, H. Developing cultural competence.  CASA & COBYS Family Services     Training Program. Lancaster, PA, June 25th, 2010.

Girvin, H., & Rice, K. How to conduct ethnographic research. Training presented to             members of the Research & Data Committee of CASA of Lancaster County          Program Evaluation Team, Millersville University, Millersville, PA,          February 19, 2010.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. Building relationships across systems to enhance resiliency

            and improve foster care outcomes. Paper presented at the Institute for           Rural Social Work & Human Services Conference: The 3 R’s of Rural Social    Work: Relationships, Resources and Resiliency. Presque Isle, ME, July 14-17,   2010.

Girvin, H. & Rice, K. A mixed methods program evaluation of CASA of Lancaster
            County. Poster presentation at the International Institute for Qualitative
            Methodology: Thinking Qualitatively 2010 Conference.
Alberta, Canada,
            June 21-26, 2010.

Girvin, H., & Rice, K. How to conduct ethnographic research. Training presented
            to members of Research & Data Committee of CASA of Lancaster County
            Program Evaluation Team, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, February
            19, 2010.

Rice, K., & Girvin, H. Building relationships across systems to enhance resiliency        and improve foster care outcomes. Institute for Rural Social Work & Human        Services Conference:  The 3 R’s of Rural Social Work:  Relationships,       Resources and Resiliency. Presque Isle, ME, July 14-17, 2010.

Girvin, H., & Rice, K. A mixed methods program evaluation of CASA of Lancaster       County. International Institute for Qualitative Methodology:  Thinking    Qualitatively 2010 Conference. Alberta, Canada, June 21-26, 2010.

Girvin, H., Fisher, E., & Clements, J. Using technology to enhance student learning, field instructor training, & program collaboration.  Innovations in Field            Education:  Sharing Lessons Learned. Temple University, Harrisburg, PA,          April 28, 2010.

Diane, D., Girvin, H., Hayward, A., & Mirza, F. Combining social work education       and intervention research:  Lessons learned from a multi-methods course.   Council on Social Work Education 52nd Annual Program Meeting. Social            Justice Through Social Reform. Chicago, IL, February 16-19, 2006.

DePanfilis, D., & Girvin, H. Strategies for assessing and measuring program    fidelity. 15th Annual Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Supporting           Promising Practices & Positive Outcomes:  A Shared Responsibility. Boston,     MA, April 18-23, 2005.

Girvin, H., Strieder, F., & DePanfilis, D. Working with intergenerational families to   increase child safety, permanency, and well-being. CWLA 2005 National         Conference. Washington, DC, March 9-11, 2005.

Girvin, H. Working with grandparent families to increase safety, well-being, and       permanence. 3rd Annual National Gerontological Social Work Conference.   New York, NY, February 27-March1, 2005.

DePanfilis, D., Girvin, H., & Daining, C. The influence of risk and protective factors    on motivation to change at intake. Eighth Annual Conference of the Society            for Social Work and Research. New Orleans, LA, January 16-19, 2004.

Girvin, H. Depression among women and its impact on parenting:  Assessment          and intervention.  University of Maryland School of Social Work, Continuing           Professional Education Program.  Baltimore, MD, April 22, 2004.

Girvin, H., & DePanfilis, D. Family Connections:  Promoting safety and well-being

            outcomes among families at risk for neglect. Fourteenth Annual Family            Preservation Conference. San Antonio, TX, September 3-5, 2003. 

Girvin, H. Readiness for change in child welfare. Tenth Annual Governor's        Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Baltimore, MD, April 29, 2003.

Girvin, H. Readiness for change in a child welfare sample:  The identification of          meaningful subgroups. Eastern Evaluation Research Society, Annual             Meeting. Absecon, NJ, April 28-30, 2002.

Girvin, H., Reynolds, W., Littell, J.H., & Alexander, L.B. Understanding readiness       for change in child welfare. Eastern Evaluation Research Society, Annual             Meeting. Langhorne, PA, April 22-24, 2001.

Reynolds, W., Girvin, H., Alexander, L.B., & Littell, J.H. The predictive capacity of     the working alliance in child welfare. Eastern Evaluation Research Society,      Annual Meeting. Langhorne, PA, April 22-24, 2001.

 Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. Readiness for change in        home-based services in child welfare:  validity and prediction. Fourteenth      Annual Research Conference:  A System of Care for Children's Mental    Health. Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health,    University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, February 25-28, 2001. 

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. Understanding readiness       for change in child welfare:  Results of a longitudinal study. Society for     Social Work and Research, Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA, January 19-22,          2001.

Alexander, L.B., Littell, J.H.,  Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. The Predictive Capacity of    the Working Alliance in Child Welfare:  Results of a longitudinal           investigation of home-based services. Society for Social Work and Research,   Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA, January 19-22, 2001.

Alexander, L.B., Littell, J.H., Reynolds, W., & Girvin, H. The alliance in home-based services in child welfare:  Reliability and prediction. Fourteenth Annual    Research Conference:  A System of Care for Children's Mental Health.   Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health, University of      South Florida, Tampa, FL, February 25-28, 2001. 

Girvin, H., Reynolds, W.W., Littell, J.H., & Alexander, L.B. The role of readiness for   change in home-based services for families in child welfare. Eastern     Evaluation Research Society, Annual Meeting. Atlantic City, N.J., March 27-   28, 2000.

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Reynolds, W., & Girvin, H. The role of the working          alliance in child welfare:  Can it predict client outcomes in home-based             services?  Society for Social Work and Research, Annual Meeting.           Charleston, SC, January, 27-30, 2000.

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. The role of readiness for        change in home-based services for families of abuse and neglected children     in child welfare. Society for Social Work and Research, Annual Meeting.           Charleston, SC, January, 27-30, 2000.

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. Neglected issues in child        welfare: Preliminary findings in alliance formation and readiness for    change. American Orthopsychiatric Association. Washington, DC, April 9-        11, 1999.

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. Stages of change in a child    welfare Sample. Society for Social Work and Research, Annual Meeting.         Austin, TX, January 22-24, 1999. 

Littell, J.H., Alexander, L.B., Girvin, H., & Reynolds, W. The working alliance in a       child welfare sample. Society for Social Work and Research, Annual   Meeting. Austin, TX, January 22-24, 1999.