Melinda Gushwa

Visiting Professor


  • BA, University of Redlands
  • MSW California State University San Bernardino
  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis


  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (RI)

About Me

Dr. Melinda Gushwa is a Visiting Professor at the Simmons School of Social Work. She has more than 25 years of practice experience in the areas of juvenile justice, residential treatment, child protection, employee assistance, crisis intervention counseling, pediatric medical social work, child welfare training, clinical practice (individual, couples, children and families), and clinical supervision. In addition to Simmons, Dr. Gushwa has taught in the social work programs at Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Rhode Island College. As a Visiting Professor, Dr. Gushwa is the PI on several workforce development grants through the CIBER center.

What I Teach

  • Crisis Intervention with Children & Adolescents

Research/Creative Activities

Dr. Gushwa’s research is connected to her practice experience as a child welfare worker and pediatric medical/ER social worker. Her research examines child maltreatment fatalities, child sexual abuse, trauma, organizational issues in child welfare and innovation in social work education.


Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). Child welfare workers’ knowledge of risk factors for child maltreatment fatalities: A second multi-state assessment. Journal of Public Child Welfare. DOI: 10.1080/15548732.2019.1612816

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). An exploratory analysis of seven child welfare workers who confused SIDS with child maltreatment fatalities: A brief research report. Journal of Social Service Research. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2018.1542374

Douglas, E., Mohn, M. & Gushwa, M. (2014). The presence of maltreatment fatality-related content in pre-service child welfare training curricula: A brief report of 20 states. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(3), 213-218. DOI: 10.1007/s10560-014-0369-x

Glantz, T. & Gushwa, M. (2013). Reflections on foster youth and education: Finding common ground. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 19(4), 15-23.

Gushwa, M., Bernier, J. & Robinson, D. (2018). Advancing child sexual abuse prevention in schools: An exploration of the effectiveness of the Enough! online training program for K-12 teachers. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1477000

Gushwa, M. & Chance, T. (2008). Ethical dilemmas for mental health practitioners: Navigating mandated child maltreatment reporting decisions. Families in Society, 89(1), 78-83. DOI: 10.1606%2F1044-3894.3712

Gushwa, M., Chance, T. & Mennes, C. (2009). What is our ethical duty? Social work education and plagiarism. Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, 6(3). [online]

Gushwa, M. & Harriman, K. (2018). Paddling against the tide: Contemporary challenges in field 
education. Journal of Clinical Social Work, 47(1), 17-22. DOI: 10.1007/s10615-018-0668-3

Kozak, R.S., Gushwa, M. & Cadet, T.J. (2018). Victimization and violence: An exploration of the relationship between child sexual abuse, violence & delinquency. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27(6), 699-717, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1474412