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Susan Parlier, PhD, LMSW, ACSW

Making Change Happen

Susan Parlier vividly remembers watching a mother lifting her young daughter out of a dumpster. At the time, Ms. Parlier was the executive director at a non-profit agency that provided basic-needs services to families. She had seen the mother digging through the agency’s dumpster several times before finally seeing the mother’s children helping her as well. When Ms. Parlier talked to them, she found that the family didn’t qualify for basic-need services because the mother held a full-time job. To fill in the gaps in her paycheck, the family picked through trash. “This was the day I realized that I needed to learn about the lives of working, low-wage, and low-income women,” Ms. Parlier said. “I committed that evening to spend my personal and professional life ending hunger and poverty.”

Ms. Parlier believes that one barrier to achieving justice is the difficulty of confronting stereotypes about low-income populations. She says that many people believe that if a person has a job, he or she won’t need assistance. Parlier wants use the data and conceptual framework she has developed to engage community leaders about changing service delivery systems. Through her work, she also hopes to help women who earn low wages create supportive communities and become advocates for change.

Research Background

Ms. Parlier’s research interests are examining low-income working women’s quests for meaning as they manage the causes and consequences of bill-paying hardship and food security, social work education, and integration of social work curriculum into fields of practice. Ms. Parlier has over 30 years of direct social work practice. For 15 years, she was executive director of a local not-for-profit agency. She remains actively involved in service with her community, state, nation, and international organizations.

SueParlier photos

Contact Information

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 803.777.1384
  • Curriculum Vita
Major Classes Taught
  • 222 - Social Welfare Institutions, Policies, and Programs
  • 302 - Foundations of Social Welfare
  • 303 – Social Welfare Services for Children and Youth
  • 308 – History and Philosophy of Social Welfare
  • 311 - Generalist Practice I: Introduction to Social Work Practice
  • 331 - Social Work Practice with Diverse and Oppressed Population
  • 322 - Social Policy Analysis
  • 402-Non-Professional Participation in Agencies
  • 403-Social Welfare in Literature
  • 421 - Social Work Practice Methods
  • 422 – Social and Economic Justice
  • 484 – Capstone – BSW Program
  • 701 - Social Welfare Policies & Services
  • 704 - Social Work Practice II
  • 710 - Foundations of Social Work Practice in Groups.
  • 718 - Systems Analysis of Social Work Practice
  • 722 - Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
  • 723 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Individuals
  • 724 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Groups
  • 734 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities: Community Social Work
  • 735 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities: Social Planning
  • 742 - Social Welfare Policy Analysis
  • Independent Studies at both bachelor and graduate level
Community Partners

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