Published on November 15, 2016 by Sean Flynt  
Amanda Howard and Friends
Amanda Howard and Friends

Samford University psychology professor Amanda Howard shared her expertise in adoption and foster care in a series of presentations to the Australian government in November.

At the invitation of the Adopt Change organization, she sought to help Australian policy makers and practitioners understand the value of more trauma-informed services for children in the child welfare system, and the importance of creating truly permanent homes for children in care.

“My research focuses on understanding interpersonal processes underlying mental health and quality of life for youth in foster and orphanage care, but I also research best practices on providing trauma-informed services across the child welfare system,” Howard said. That specialty has gained national and international attention, especially in Australia, where the adoption and foster care system is overwhelmed.

On a 2014 visit to Australia, Howard met with the prime minister and important figures in child welfare. This year, she addressed the Australian Parliament, spoke to government agencies and adoption organizations, and presented a nationally televised webinar.

Closer to home, Howard has consulted with the Texas Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Service, and served as keynote speaker at the Empowered to Connect conference earlier this year.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.