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November 25, 2019

Janet Joiner poses for a photo.Janet Joiner, assistant professor of Social Work and chair of the University of Detroit Mercy Department of Social Work, was recently appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan Board of Social Work. Her appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2023.

The Michigan Board of Social Work consists of nine members: six individuals engaged primarily in the practice of social work and three public members. Each board member serves a four-year term and is subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate. Their charge is to set policy, protect public health and welfare and oversee cases involving ethical violations and appeals related to licensed social workers.

Joiner earned nomination for this leadership role by The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She is active with the Michigan NASW and provides several workshops for continuing education credits on behalf of the organization, to a variety of social work organizations, universities and others. In addition, she recently conducted a presentation in England based on her cyber social work research captured in the article “Cyber Social Work: Is the Profession Ready?” which appeared in Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education.

“My appointment to the Michigan Board of Social Work is an honor and a privilege,” Joiner said. “This role will allow me to continue my service to the social work community and more broadly the State of Michigan. As a board member, I look forward to engaging in policy development, ethics reviews and aiding in protecting public health and welfare.”

Joiner is a licensed social worker with more than 30 years of experience. One of her areas of interest is cyber social work, which began almost a decade ago with the introduction of mobile devices. Her research interests include untapped opportunities for the social work profession to expand service delivery to previously underserved populations using technology. In addition, she has examined the dearth of available training programs designed to educate social workers and others about burgeoning digital mental health challenges. As a result of these service and education gaps, she began delivering training programs to address these challenges. 

She holds a doctorate from Wayne State University in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. Additionally, she holds a Master of Social Work and a Bachelor of Social Work from Western Michigan University.

She is founder of the Institute for Cyber Social Work, an organization dedicated to advancing digital social work practice, while providing technological training and support services to social workers, human service organizations and academic institutions. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CWSE) and the Michigan Baccalaureate Social Work Educators (MBASWE). In addition, she has served as a member of NASW-Michigan Delegate Assembly. Her current research is focused on digital mental health and ethics.

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