Alan J. Dettlaff was appointed Dean of the Graduate College of Social Work and the inaugural Maconda Brown O’Connor Endowed Dean’s Chair in May 2015. Prior to joining the University of Houston, Dean Dettlaff served on the faculty of the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in social work from TCU, and master’s in social work and PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dean Dettlaff’s work focuses on improving outcomes for children and youth in the child welfare system through examining the factors contributing to racial disparities and improving cultural responsiveness. His research and consultation with state child welfare systems has led to significant policy and practice improvements that have resulted in reductions in the overrepresentation of African American children in these systems. Dean Dettlaff has also conducted groundbreaking research to identify and understand the unique needs of immigrant Latino children and families involved in child welfare. This research resulted in the first national data on the presence of Latino children of immigrants in the child welfare system and their risk exposure.
Dean Dettlaff served as Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Education Policy from 2010 to 2016 and led the process of revising the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards that took effect in 2015. He was named Volunteer of the Year by the Council on Social Work Education in 2014 and was inducted into the 2015 Class of Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research.
Dean Dettlaff is co-editor of Addressing Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in Human Services: Multisystemic Approaches and Immigrant and Refugee Children and Families: Culturally Responsive Practice, published by Columbia University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of Child Welfare, Child Abuse & Neglect, and Journal of Public Child Welfare. He is a member of the advisory boards of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute and the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Social Work Education. Locally, he is a member of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for the Homeless and Mental Health America of Greater Houston.
Dean Dettlaff lives in Houston with his husband, former TCU football player, Vince Pryor.
Room: 212 Social Work Building
Current Curriculum Vitae
Click here to view current Curriculum Vitae with selected publications.