Jennifer Eileen Reddin Cassar

Adelphi University's School of Social Work doctoral candidate Jennifer Eileen Reddin Cassar has been selected to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster.

As part of the unique Fulbright program, Reddin, a practicing child welfare attorney and a licensed clinical social worker, will engage in two- to six-week project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe.

“I am simply awe-struck by being chosen,” said Reddin of the Fulbright opportunity.

“As an Adelphi student, I had the chance to travel to Wangige, Kenya, with Professor Anne Mungai in January 2020, where I was able to immerse myself in service, culture and global learning.”

While in Kenya, Reddin says she solidified her desire to dive deeper into understanding how social work and law can help create communications and pathways for other communities, something she hopes to extend during her Fulbright upcoming experience abroad. “I was able to design and implement a program to practice social work in a nontraditional setting, specifically a Kenyan school and orphanage,” she said.

An Advocate for Children and Families Around the World

Reddin’s area of interest for research, evaluation and teaching is how to effectively integrate the disciplines of law and social work to better serve families and children. Her years of practicing in both disciplines sparked her desire to develop a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum for legal professionals and social workers to help them understand other roles in the child welfare system.

Practicing law since 1998, Reddin works as the legal director of the Children & Family Legal Services unit of JCCA (formerly known as the Jewish Child Care Association) an New York City foster care agency. As founder of the in-house legal department for the organization, she brings her skills as an attorney and a social worker to create a multidisciplinary practice serving NYC children and families. She received her BSW from New York University, her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her MSW from Adelphi in 1999. She is on track to graduate with her doctorate in 2024.

Currently, Reddin is in the beginning phases of the matching process, which pairs host institutions with Fulbright Specialists. She hopes to be matched with Vietnam Women’s Academy to assist in developing a curriculum for a Master of Social Work program, including recruiting, finalizing the program’s contents, reference materials and teaching methodologies.

Reddin says her long-term goal is to arm the next generation of child welfare lawyers with well-intentioned and purposefully developed “social work brains” and to equip the next generation of social workers with the ability to advocate for their clients within the legal world.

“Like most of the world, I spent 2020 and 2021 wondering what would be out there in the world post-COVID,” Reddin added. “Having this opportunity in 2022 is nothing short of amazing.”

For more information on the Fulbright Specialist Roster, please visit fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org

Todd Wilson
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