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Robert M. Ortega

Associate Dean for Educational Programs and Associate Professor of Social Work

Robert M. Ortega

Associate Professor Robert Ortega’s research interests are in the areas of relationship development, group work practice, treatment interventions and service utilization particularly in the areas of mental health and child welfare. Dr. Ortega has presented and written on these topics with a special focus on diversity and social justice in research and practice. He has published in the areas of mutual aid, multicultural issues in group work, child welfare permanency planning, family preservation and culturally responsive child welfare practice. He is the principal investigator of the first national study of Latinos and child welfare. He has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and is currently working on projects related to increasing the pipeline for graduates from under-represented groups into research scientist professions, training child welfare managers and supervisors, and culturally responsive comprehensive child maltreatment assessments and treatment. He is the recipient of the 2013 Recent Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education awarded by the national Council on Social Work Education. Dr. Ortega serves as consultant on several national research projects and organizations focusing on social work, child welfare and social justice issues.

Research Interests/Focus

Child welfare, juvenile justice, serious mental illness.


Year Degree   School
1991 PhD Social Work and Social Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1987 MA Social Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1983 MSW Families and Groups University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1977 BA Psychology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Year Description
2017 Distinguished Faculty Award
2015 Outstanding Service and Advancement of Cultural Competency in Child Maltreatment Prevention and Intervention Award, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
2015 6 Year (Two term) Service Award, Council on Social Work Education, Commission on Accreditation.
2014 Jane Addams Medal of Honor, Association of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, WMU Student Chapter
2013 Distinguished Contributions in Social Work Education Award, Council on Social Work Education
2011 National Association of Social Workers – MI Chapter, Lisa Putnam Award for Excellence in Child Welfare
2007 University of Michigan Latino Task Group Circle Award
2007 University of Michigan Circle Award for Exemplary Service
2006 University of Michigan Latino/a Task Force, Faculty Award
2001 University of Michigan Latino/a Task Force, Faculty Award
1997 University of Michigan Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award
1997 University of Michigan Latino/a Task Force, Faculty Award
1997 American Association of State Social Work Boards Service Award
1995 Michigan Outstanding Hispanic Educator of the Year. Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Educational Opportunities Fund, Inc.

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