Michele Fairbairn

I hold a BSW (1996) from the Inner-City Social Work Program at the University of Manitoba, and a MSW (2008) from the University of Manitoba. Since 2008 I have taught social work courses in child welfare practice and policy, interdisciplinary practice, and anti-oppressive theory and practice at the University of Victoria. I have also practiced as a social worker in a variety of child welfare, medical and mental health settings, most recently within an interdisciplinary child and youth tertiary mental health program. I have additionally served as a practicum supervisor for BSW, MSW and psychology students, and as a member on a variety of community boards and grass root social activist collectives.

My research interests have included critical and poststructuralist informed narrative accounts of child welfare social workers' practice and identities; feminist methods; and anti-oppression in critical practice, policy and pedagogy. My intended PhD research will focus on how competency discourses are interfacing with tertiary child and youth mental health. I plan to utilize a discourse analysis to examine the policies and related infrastructure of representative practice sites and narrative accounts of the practice and identities of social workers working within them. I hope to develop an understanding of social justice definitions and possibilities for policy and practice with children and youth who are identified as having mental health disabilities.