The Catholic University of America


Elizabeth M. Timberlake, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita


Ph.D., Social Work, The Catholic University of America
M.S.W., Social Work, Tulane University
B.A., Sociology, Duke University

Biographical Information:

Dr. Timberlake has taught social work practice model development and advanced research for doctoral students, directed dissertations, and taught social work theory and practice with children and their families for masters students. She has specialized in clinical social work practice and research with children, working with and on behalf of children and families for over 40 years in child welfare, family service agencies, mental health centers, school settings, and private practice. She has served on the governing boards of United Way, Associated Catholic Charities, Christ Child Society School Counseling Program, Good Shepherd Center, and Christ Child Institute. Her extensive research and over 100 publications focus on coping and adaptation in the face of various life stressors, homeless children and families, physical and mental illness, treatment process and outcome, improving practice and service delivery for children and youth, the impact of federal laws on school social work practice, social work personnel issues, practice and program outcomes, and future directions in social work practice. Dr. Timberlake has served on the editorial boards of Social Thought, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, and Social Work in Education. She is Director Emerita of CUA's National Research Center for Child and Family Services. Dr. Timberlake has also served as Chairperson of CUA's Academic Senate, Chairperson of the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work, Director of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work, reaccreditation site visitor for CSWE and Central States Educational Association, and consultant for social work doctoral programs.

Selected Publications:

Timberlake, E., Farber, M., Wall, S., Taylor, N., & Sabatino, C. (2003). Resettlement challenges

in the "Land of Opportunity:" The experience of economically-disadvantaged women.

Social Thought, 22: 175-196.

Timberlake, E. & Cutler, M. (2001). Developmental play therapy in clinical social work.

Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Reprinted in Chinese, 2005.

Timberlake, E. (1994). Children with no place to call home: Survival in the cars and on the

streets. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 4: 259-277.