Research Opportunities for Students

Not only does SAFE provide an amazing clinical social work educational opportunity for King’s students, students placed with SAFE can learn valuable research skills including data collection, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and manuscript preparation.  Students have had opportunities to co-author peer-reviewed publications and to guide methodological decisions ensuring that the knowledge created is created by and benefits those whom it impacts.  To date 13 students have engaged in the research.

SAFE Research

The SAFE research team is engaging in mixed methods research to understand, among other things, the feasibility of the program. While COVID was the impetus for SAFE, the underlying factors – including stretched resources in schools and the community, increasingly complex mental health needs, family stress, and limited practicum opportunities – were present before the pandemic and will continue in the foreseeable future. The shift toward online support creates opportunities for us to partner with and support rural and remote school communities that have limited resources or access to a university social work program. Our research advances knowledge in these areas:

  • the delivery of mental health services to families
  • the delivery of mental health services remotely
  • on partnerships between elementary and higher education
  • remote social work education

Our research has the potential to facilitate service provision across remote and rural communities while offering expanded educational opportunities for social work students beyond their immediate geographic location. This research could be of benefit in multiple levels of education as well as across child and family mental health services. This research will be used by King’s and other current and potential participants:

  • to help us understand the impact and feasibility of continuing or expanding this pilot program
  • by the TVDSB to understand the impact and feasibility of continuing this partnership
  • by additional school boards to understand the impact and feasibility of partnering with King’s in expanding SAFE
  • by other schools of social work to consider the implications of remote practicums for their students
  • by families to understand the potential impact of involvement in a program like SAFE


Publications, Presentations and Reports

Read the SAFE Year 1 Executive Summary: A Feasibility Study of the Support and Aid for Families Electronically (SAFE) Program Pilot Year 2020/21.

Dr. Jane Sanders and M.K. Arundel were selected to present about SAFE at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) conference,  January 11-15, 2023, in Phoenix, AZ. Their presentation, "Support and Aid to Families Electronically (SAFE): A University-School Board Partnership Providing Social Work Services to Families,” was in the category of "Family Engagement & Support.”)

Support and Aid to Families Electronically (SAFE): Addressing Intersecting Academic and Community Needs
Sanders, J., Antia, H., Bernal, E, Landon, J., Reed, A.J., Seale A., Sullivan, H., Sutton, E., Arundel, M.K., Csiernik, R. (2022). Support and Aid to Families Electronically (SAFE): Addressing intersecting academic and community needs. Journal of Social Work Education, 0(0), 1-27.


This research work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council [grant number 767-2017-1521].