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Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D

Featured In: Confidentiality in the Digital World

Associate Professor King’s University College Western University Ontario, Canada Email:

Dr. Rachel Birnbaum is an Associate Professor cross-appointed in Childhood & Social Institutions (Interdisciplinary Studies) & Social Work at King’s University College at Western University, London, Ontario. Dr. Birnbaum has over 25 years of clinical practice experience working with children and families of separation and/or divorce. In the social work program she teaches law and ethics and has written and presented on these issues. Dr. Birnbaum has also presented and published both nationally and internationally on access to justice issues, ethical decision-making in social work practice and working with high conflict families post separation and/or divorce. She is involved in several major research projects on high conflict families, children’s participation in family disputes, and children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) and parenting issues. She has published four books with her co-authors: (1) Child Custody Assessments: A Resource Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals; (2) Challenging Issues in Child Custody Disputes: A Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals; (3) Law for Social Workers (4th Edition) by Thomson Reuters; and (4) Practicing Social Work Research: Case Studies for Learning (2011) by the University of Toronto Press and is currently working on a Canadian textbook for social workers and applying ethical decision-making to various case vignettes that includes research and use of self. Dr. Birnbaum was the 2014 recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award presented by an international interdisciplinary organization, AFCC for research in family justice. She was also the President of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers for 4 years, the President of the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators for 2 years, and is now the President of AFCC-Ontario.

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