Cynthia A. Lietz

Cynthia A. Lietz
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Social Work

PhD, LCSW

About

58
Publications
118,563
Reads
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2,139
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
1381 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Additional affiliations
August 2004 - present
Arizona State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Cynthia Lietz is associate professor and Coordinator of the Tucson Component at ASU's School of Social Work.
Education
August 2000 - May 2004
Arizona State University
Field of study
  • Social Work
August 1991 - May 1993
Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
Field of study
  • Social Work
August 1987 - May 1991
Valparaiso University (USA)
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Many colleges and universities are creating campus-based programs to support students with a background in foster care. When considering the histories of trauma experienced by these young people, meeting mental health needs is an important part of a portfolio of services. ASuPIRE is a strengths-based, trauma-informed counseling program that was des...
Article
Taking a resilience approach, this study sought to understand what strengths helped young people with foster care experience successfully transition during their first year in college. In-depth, narrative interviews were conducted with a sample of students with foster care experience who had successfully completed their first year of college demons...
Article
Creating organizational change, including implementing evidence based practices, requires agencies to have supportive learning cultures. Despite ongoing efforts to implement best practice, translation of practice principles to child welfare practice is inconsistent; some research suggests this is in part due to organizational barriers. According to...
Article
Full-text available
Child welfare supervision is fundamental to advancing the quality of practice when seeking to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Child welfare supervisors serve administrative, educational, and support functions as they oversee frontline caseworkers and direct service providers. Clinical supervision, a dialog-driven process...
Article
Foster families provide safe and stable homes for children and youth who are removed from their homes due to maltreatment. Despite the stressors associated with bringing children in and out of a family’s home, many maintain healthy family functioning and continue fostering for many years serving an essential function in the child welfare system. Th...
Article
Research shows that few foster care alumni enroll and complete post-secondary education. For those who do enroll, many experience challenges associated with academic and social adjustment and are at risk of dropping out. Many college-based programs are being developed and are available to foster care alumni to support them during their post-seconda...
Article
An online survey was administered to all child welfare specialists in one urban region (N = 427) to examine which aspects of supervision predicted higher levels of satisfaction. The specific supervisory processes that were measured included the components that make up strengths-based supervision, a model that was developed for child welfare setting...
Article
Full-text available
Foster parents play a crucial role in providing safe and stable homes to maltreated children placed in out-of-home care and in doing so are tasked with many challenges. Understanding how foster parents are able to overcome the challenges inherent to fostering, to continue to foster children long term, and to maintain a healthy level of family funct...
Article
Families who care for children in the foster care system often experience challenges related to the system, accessing services and supports, and managing relationships. Despite these challenges, many families thrive because of unique attributes and strengths that contribute to experiences of resilience. Using an ecological framework, this study exa...
Article
Families who foster offer essential care for children and youth when their own parents are unable to provide for their safety and well-being. Foster caregivers face many challenges including increased workload, emotional distress, and the difficulties associated with health and mental health problems that are more common in children in foster care....
Article
Child welfare agencies are charged with the mission of establishing timely legal permanency for all children in out-of-home care. National data indicate that the field of child welfare continues to struggle to fulfill this mission. Pragmatic strategies to improve permanency outcomes are essential. This study used cross-sectional data (N = 427) to e...
Article
Full-text available
This qualitative study examined the client experience of psychiatric medication among an unusual and under-studied subpopulation, individuals diagnosed with SMI who eventually experienced functional recovery. Four themes emerged from in-depth qualitative interviews with 16 such individuals: (1) primacy of medication, (2) informed consent, (3) self-...
Article
Children and youth in foster care often have increased medical and behavioral needs, as a result of maltreatment experiences. As primary caregivers, foster parents serve a critical role in ensuring their medical and behavioral health needs are met, yet there is little research depicting foster parents’ experiences with such services. This study exa...
Article
Full-text available
This article documents one woman's experience of mental health recovery using a case study approach. Specifically, qualitative data collected through a semistructured interview were triangulated with the medical record to understand more about how this woman experienced a transition from a period of her life marked by severe psychological and emoti...
Article
Strengths-based supervision (SBS) is a model of clinical supervision that was developed to support effective implementation of family-centered practice in public child welfare. An evaluation was conducted to determine the degree to which learning from this 2-day workshop transferred to changes in supervisory practices. Links to pre- and posttest an...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) that has been modified to incorporate clients' spiritual beliefs and practices has been used to treat a variety of problems. This study examines the utility of this modality with the treatment of alcohol dependence and other forms of substance abuse. Toward this end, six focus groups (three therapist groups and th...
Article
Full-text available
This study used quantitative and qualitative data from a larger research project regarding foster parent experiences to examine the characteristics that predict a parent’s willingness to foster an adolescent. Data collected from closed- and open-ended items related to reasons for not fostering a teen were also analyzed. Findings suggest parents who...
Article
Full-text available
Mental health services are provided to people diagnosed with mental disorders to foster rehabilitation by enhancing emotional and behavioral functioning. The purpose of this project was to understand from the perspective of service recipients what aspects of services they found most helpful in facilitating the process of recovery. Using a sequentia...
Article
Full-text available
Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS) is a model of supervision that was developed for child welfare settings. The model integrates several supervisory processes that are conducted with the primary focus of supporting effective implementation of Family-Centered Practice (FCP). The model was developed in one southwestern state in 2008 and has since been...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined health/mental health status, family functioning, and resiliency among a sample of bereaved parents (N= 503). Participants were recruited from an on-line support community to complete an on-line survey instrument (response rate = 51.75%). The questionnaire contained an array of self-report instruments, such as the Hopkins Symp...
Article
Women are being deployed at increasing rates. This article reviews literature related to the risk and protective factors that explain varied levels of adaptation for servicewomen and their families. Implications suggest that clinicians assess risk factors for female soldiers upon return home such as the number and length of deployments, the presenc...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to define family resilience in the context of high-risk situations. First, the literature is reviewed to describe the development of the construct of family resilience. Second, research regarding family risk factors is synthesized providing information regarding some of the most challenging difficulties families face....
Article
Full-text available
Increasing numbers of women are found in the military, and they are now performing roles very similar to those of male service members. More returning servicewomen and veterans have been exposed to stressful and traumatic experiences, such as combat and difficult living circumstances, and military sexual trauma is common. These experiences have bee...
Article
This article reports the findings of a known-groups validity study of the Empathy Assessment Index (EAI), which is a 20-item self-report instrument based on an emerging social cognitive neuroscience definition of empathy. A convenience sample formed 2 groups of study participants: social service providers (n = 197), and a group (n =453) of offender...
Conference Paper
Background & Purpose Social empathy calls for using insights and understanding of people's lived experiences to inform public policy. The development of social empathy can move us toward social justice and action. This is particularly critical in today's anti-immigrant climate. Critical theorists argue that dominant groups are less likely to cons...
Article
Full-text available
Spirituality represents an important internal and external strength that can support clients when facing a variety of problems including substance misuse and addiction. Spirituality is commonly included in peer-run mutual aid support groups for addiction, while incorporating a client's spiritual preference is less common in professional substance a...
Article
Both historically and currently, social work and related fields have expressed considerable interest in the construct of empathy. However, the ability to define and ultimately measure empathy is limited. This project validates a revised version of the Empathy Assessment Index (EAI), which is a measure rooted in a social cognitive neuroscience conce...
Article
Full-text available
Family Centered Practice (FCP) represents a set of theoretical principles developed to guide child welfare services. Although extensive research exists regarding outcomes of such services, few studies have examined theoretical adherence or the degree to which services are implemented according to practice principles. The aim of this study was to ex...
Article
Instruments currently being used to measure empathy do not reflect the recent neuroscientific scholarship on mirror neurons and the importance of self-awareness and emotion regulation in experiencing the fullest extent of empathy. The authors describe a theoretical framework for the initial development and pilot application of an empathy self-repor...
Article
Family preservation services (FPS) include a set of services designed to prevent out-of-home placement for children at risk of child maltreatment. Research examining FPS is inconsistent, with some studies reporting positive results, while others fail to demonstrate improved outcomes for many families. To understand the experience of receiving these...
Article
Empathy is identified as a protective factor that has been helpful for children considered at high risk for poor mental health and social functioning due to experiencing stressful circumstances such as family violence, substance abuse of a parent, or poverty. Yet, little is known about its relevance to a family's ability to overcome adversity. This...
Article
Full-text available
Family resilience literature discusses the strengths helpful to families when overcoming adversity. This study looks at the resilience of 15 families whose children were removed due to child maltreatment, but who achieved reunification and maintained improved functioning over time. Qualitative methods guided by the narrative tradition were used to...
Article
Full-text available
When children are removed from their families because of maltreatment, the child welfare system seeks reunification whenever possible. Despite the importance of this goal, little is known about families who are able to achieve and maintain successful reunification. This qualitative study conducted in-depth interviews with 15 families who completed...
Article
Full-text available
When children are removed from their parents due to child maltreatment, the goal remains to reunite families whenever possible. Although extensive research exists regarding barriers to reunification, little is known about the families who are successfully reunited. The aim of this study was to examine the strengths families found helpful in the pro...
Article
Full-text available
Arizona's Department of Economic Security (DES) engaged in a strengths-based initiative to increase quality and integration of human services. Twenty teams including employees from state agencies, community leaders, and families were brought together to discuss and implement improvements to a variety of social services. A mixed methods study was co...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to briefly review the most influential existing literature on conceptualizing and measuring empathy. In addition, we consider a second, highly salient body of literature emerging from the relatively new field of social cognitive neuroscience, which uses brain imaging to help identify the physiological components of em...
Article
Full-text available
In the field of social work, practitioners must remain well informed regarding research advances in their respective areas. Proponents of evidence-based practice expect social workers to engage in practice informed by the best available evidence. Research studies conducted through the lens of qualitative inquiry provide important contributions to t...
Article
Full-text available
Decision making in child welfare is complex. As administrators seek to prepare their workforce for this challenging task, agencies commonly look to trainings as the primary way to develop new workers. This article asserts supervision as an essential part of enhancing the knowledge of workers. In addition, reflective supervision that prompts critica...
Article
Intensive in-home services play an important role in child welfare practice. This study explored whether families perceived they were stronger after their involvement with intensive in-home services in Arizona. Phase I of the project sampled 17 families who completed services three to six months prior to the study. Phase II sampled 36 families and...
Article
Full-text available
The process of supervision plays an important role in the implementation of practice models. Supervisors are responsible for training their supervisees regarding new practice techniques. Supervisors also monitor and evaluate the implementation of such practice. In addition, parallel process suggests that what happens in supervision can affect the w...
Article
Full-text available
Child welfare workers daily make difficult, high-risk decisions regarding the lives of children and families. This article critiques two predominant perspectives informing child welfare decision-making and proposes critical theory as an alternative framework. Specifically, critical theory as a framework for child welfare decision integrates the ins...
Conference Paper
Background: Considering the high incidence rate of child maltreatment along with the number of families referred for services within the child welfare system, understanding how some families are able to achieve success and remain strong within this setting is important for social work practitioners, administrators and policy makers. The construct...
Conference Paper
Background: Supervisors in public child welfare play an important role in monitoring and mentoring the practice of child protection. Supervisors can affect one's satisfaction with their job, their intention to leave their position as well as the quality of services ultimately received by families. As child welfare agencies seek to develop their w...
Article
This qualitative research project conducted in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of youths who participated in a Hope VI community revitalization project. Data analysis uncovered four themes identified by these teens as they discussed the destruction of their old homes, life on a construction site, and the creation of renovated structures...
Article
Full-text available
The process of supervision plays an important role in developing the skills necessary to respond effectively to reports of child maltreatment. Specifically, educational supervision prompting discussion and critical thinking can enhance the analytic skills needed to consider the complexity commonly found in child welfare practice. To this end, group...
Article
Full-text available
The contemporary international slave trade has received little attention in the social work literature. In keeping with the profession's commitment to social justice and human rights, this article reviews perhaps the most prominent and fastest-growing component of the trade—the trafficking of young women and children for prostitution and other form...
Article
Full-text available
As the strengths perspective becomes a key influence in social work, illustrations and applications that inform practice must be provided. Group work has long been accepted as an important modality that is closely aligned with the strengths perspective. This article takes a case study approach by illustrating and exploring strengths-based applicati...
Article
Social work students are drawn to qualitative research methods, perhaps because of their experience with interviewing and their interest in process. However, since students need to learn both qualitative and quantitative research methods because both are used in the literature, instructors are challenged to teach both types of methods in one course...
Article
Full-text available
This study applied the construct of resilience to family systems by looking at ways families are able to maintain high functioning despite facing difficult experiences. A mixed methods study tested relationships between the variables of risk, family strengths, and family functioning. Quantitative findings suggested that the variable of family stren...
Article
Full-text available
As the use of qualitative inquiry increases within the field of social work, researchers must consider the issue of establishing rigor in qualitative research. This article presents research procedures used in a study of autoethnographies that were written regarding the experience of being Jewish. In this project, the researchers utilized reflexivi...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, the authors explore the use of the research poem, a powerful method of qualitative research, in an international social work context. Using ethnographic poems as data, the authors demonstrate a method for creating research poems. They discuss potential strengths and limitations of this approach and explore implications for social r...
Article
Full-text available
Residential treatment centers have faced many changes as the involvement of managed care has led to reduced lengths of stay and increases in the severity of problems treated at this level of care. This paper discusses the development of a new theoretical framework that combines social learning theory with the research on resilience to create a stre...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Strengths-Based Supervision is a model of clinical supervision for child welfare settings. The two day training has been implemented in Arizona, Texas, Idaho, and most recently, Michigan. These articles summarize findings from this project.
Project
We have been working on developing tools to measure interpersonal empathy and social empathy. If you are interested, the tools have been published in our new book that just came out, check it out: https://cup.columbia.edu/book/assessing-empathy/9780231181914