Faculty and Staff

Julie Steen, Ph.D., MSW, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Central Florida.  Through her research, she has advanced models for integrating human rights into various components of the social work curriculum and has furthered the field’s understanding of child welfare policies and organizations.  Her work has been published in a number of journals, such as Social Work, Children and Youth Services Review, and Child Abuse and Neglect, in addition to being presented at such conferences as the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development and the International Congress of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Steen has 18 years of teaching experience, having taught courses at all levels (BSW, MSW, and PhD) and in all social work curriculum sequences (HBSE, policy, practice, and research).  In addition, she has supported student learning through dissertation committee membership, honors in the major thesis committee membership, and supervision of independent studies.

Steen’s service to the social work field includes membership on the Human Rights Committee for the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Global Education.  Her post-MSW practice experience includes two years of direct practice (crisis counselor for survivors, offenders, and non-offending parents in the field of child maltreatment) and four years of macro practice (registered lobbyist in the Florida legislative branch and provider of training and technical assistance for child welfare agencies and school readiness coalitions).


  • Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work, Florida State University
  • MSW, Master of Social Work, University of Georgia
  • BA, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Economics, University of North Florida

Select Publications in the Child Welfare Literature

  • Steen, J. A., & Burg, M. A. (in press). Parental attitudes following exposure to child abuse prevention campaign materials: A randomized trial. Journal of Public Child Welfare.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Buckey, J. W. (2014). American social work student attitudes toward foster youth empowerment. Child Abuse Review, 23, 440-449. [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Duran, L. (2014). Entryway into the child protection system: The impacts of child maltreatment reporting policies and reporting system structures. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 868-874.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2013). The development of foster care privatization policy in Florida: An application of Kingdon’s policy development model. Journal of Policy Practice, 12, 258-272.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Duran, L. (2013). The impact of foster care privatization on multiple placements. Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 1503-1509.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Harlow, S. (2012). Correlates of multiple placements in foster care: A study of placement instability in five states. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6, 172-190.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Smith, S. (2012). An organizational view of privatization: Is the private foster care agency superior to the public foster care agency? Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 851-858.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2011). An exploratory study of the relationship between child protection system stressors and case outputs. Administration in Social Work, 35, 46-59.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2011). Organizational configurations of American child maltreatment reporting systems. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 5, 471-480.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Smith, K. S. (2011). Foster parent perspectives of privatization policy and the privatized system. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1483-1488.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2009). Attitudes of domestic violence shelter workers toward mandated reporter laws: A study of policy support and policy impact. Journal of Policy Practice, 8, 21-33.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2009). The perceived impact of a child maltreatment report from the perspective of domestic violence shelter workers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 1906-1918.  [link]

Select Publications in the Human Rights Literature

  • Steen, J. A. (in press). Reconceptualizing social work practice behaviors from a human rights perspective. Journal of Social Work Education.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Bergeron, M. (2017). The human right to safe exit: University evacuation policy and mobility impairment. Journal of Policy Practice, 16, 276-291.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., Mann, M., Restivo, N., Mazany, S., & Chapple, R. (2017). Human rights: Its meaning and practice in social work field settings. Social Work, 62, 9-17. [link]
  • Steen, J. A., Mann, M., & Gryglewicz, K. (2016). The human rights philosophy: Support and opposition among social work students in the United States. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 36, 446-459.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Mann, M. (2015). Human rights and the social work curriculum: Integrating human rights into skill-based education regarding policy practice behaviors. Journal of Policy Practice, 14, 275-291.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A. (2012). The human rights philosophy as a values framework for the human behavior course: Integration of human rights concepts in the person-in-environment perspective. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 22, 853-862.  [link]
  • Steen, J. A., & Mathieson, S. (2005). Human rights education: Is social work behind the curve? Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 25(3/4), 143-156.  [link]
Areas of Specialty
  • Child welfare organizations
  • Child Welfare Policy
  • Human Rights Education

Research Grants

Social Work

Strong Foundations

  • PI: Julie Steen
  • Co-PI: Bonnie Yegidis
  • Co-PI: Chris Stewart
  • Amount: $997,690 | Timeframe: 10/01/2018 - 09/29/2023
    Funding Type: Extramural Research
  • Social Work Track Doctoral Candidate Khalilah Louis Caines Awarded FICW Fellowship

    Written By: UCF School of Social Work | July 21, 2022
    Khalilah Louis Caines, LCSW is earning her Ph.D. in Public Affairs within the social work track and has recently been awarded $5,000 for a 2022-2023 Dissertation Fellowship from the Florida...
  • UCF Social Work Researchers Partner with Child Welfare Groups to Improve Outcomes for Foster Children

    Written By: Camille Dolan '98 | February 28, 2020
    Associate Professors Julie Steen and Chris Stewart in UCF’s School of Social Work are leading an evaluation of an effort by Embrace Families to strengthen the child welfare system and...
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