Shirley Chau, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Shirley Chau is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work. She teaches undergraduate-level courses in research methods, social policy, and social welfare, and a graduate-level health interprofessional course on health-interprofessional research and evidence-based practice. Central to her teaching approach is the anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens for clinical practice, and social and organizational change.
Shirley’s clinical interests and experience are in the areas of work and wellness, crisis intervention, psychological trauma, and individual counseling. In addition, Shirley is an active researcher on marginalized populations and health, as well as on practice and policy relevant issues related to child welfare. She was a research trainee under the CIHR Strategic Training Program in the Transdisciplinary Approach to the Health of Marginalized Populations at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH), St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. She brings a transdisciplinary perspective on health research to the faculty and is interested in opportunities for collaboration with a diverse range of researchers and community health practitioners. Her interest in conducting research on vulnerable and marginalized populations includes previous research on: housing issues in child welfare; the impact of inquests on child welfare organizations; the health and wellbeing of Chinese Canadian seniors; the settlement experiences of Asian immigrant adolescents; and more recently, the health and wellbeing of homeless youth exposed to violence on the streets of Toronto’s inner city. Currently, she is an investigator on several grants to study the actualization of multiculturalism policies in BC (PI, SSHRC, $49, 498), the pathways to youth homelessness in Kelowna (PI, UBC Internal Grants, $5,000), and the migration of homeless populations between Kelowna and Vancouver (Co-I, PI: Dr. Jim Frankish, UBC, BC Medical Services Foundation, $49,608).
Shirley’s teaching interests are critical social work practice, research methods and statistics, and social work practice with vulnerable and marginalized populations. Her research interests are health and homelessness, cross-cultural social work practice, health disparities, occupational health and wellness, and social work education and practice outcomes.