Shelley L. Craig’s research focuses on the social determinants of health and mental health and the impact of the service delivery system on vulnerable populations. Her primary specializations are: (1) the needs of sexual and gender minority youth and subsequent program development and service delivery (2) the roles and interventions used by health social workers to impact the social determinants of health (3) developing competent social work practitioners through effective social work education.
As principal investigator she has recently tested several interventions for sexual and gender minority youth including Strengths-First, a resilience-focused case management program for youth at risk, ASSET, an empowering group model and funded through the Canadian Institute of Health Research, AFFIRM, an affirmative cognitive-behavioural group intervention. Funding from SSHRC has allowed Dr. Craig to further understand the influence of the media on the resilience and identity of this vulnerable population. Other projects include a HIV prevention intervention for minority youth involved with the juvenile justice system, identified the HIV testing patterns of older Latinas; HIV prevention for Latina transgender sex workers, and the use of mental health services by urban gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) youth. Dr. Craig directed an extensive community research plan, as well as developed and established a multi-million dollar comprehensive service delivery system for sexual minority youth and their families. She has also been PI of an international study of LGBTQ students in social work programs.
Dr. Craig is registered and licensed clinical social worker with a particular expertise in delivering effective services for vulnerable populations. Selected experiences over her twenty five years of practice include: Founder and Executive Director of the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, Executive Director of ALSO for Out Youth; Medical social worker in the emergency care center of a community hospital; Director of a domestic violence shelter.
Dr. Craig has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Inspirational Social Work Leader 2015, Ontario Association of Social Workers; Fellow, the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR); the Excellence in Research Scholarship Award from the Council of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (CSOGE), National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Student Social Worker of the Year and the Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS) National Person of Impact. She is particularly proud that several of her students and mentees have also become Student Social Worker(s) of the Year.