Assistant Dean, Global Programs
Chair, Global Practice Field of Practice
Thomas M. Crea, PhD, MSW, is an Associate Professor, Chair of the Global Practice Concentration, and Assistant Dean of Global Programs at the School of Social Work, Boston College. He is a former licensed clinical social worker with previous experience as a mental health therapist for severely emotionally disturbed children, and as a foster care adoption worker and supervisor providing home study assessments and post-placement support to families. Dr. Crea has experience in local, national, and international research projects, related to social interventions for vulnerable children and families. Dr. Crea’s research focuses on the intersections of child welfare, refugee social protection and education, and strengthening humanitarian aid and international development programs. His research spans multiple countries, which in addition to the U.S. have included Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi, Palestine, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Professor Crea uses primarily mixed-methods, participatory research methodologies designed to produce rigorous, yet useful, findings for stakeholders working with at-risk populations.
Crea, T. M., Roth, B., Jani, J., & Grace, B. (2018). Unaccompanied immigrant children: Interdisciplinary perspectives on needs and responses (Introduction to Special Issue). Children & Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.05.018
Crea, T. M., Easton, S. D., Florio, J., & Barth, R. P. (2018). Childhood sexual abuse and externalizing behaviors among adopted children: A longitudinal comparison with other forms of maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 82, 192-200.
Crea, T. M., Hasson, R. G., Evans, K., Berger Cardoso, J. B., & Underwood, D. (2018). Moving forward: Educational outcomes for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) exiting foster care in the United States. Journal of Refugee Studies, 31(2), 240–256. doi:10.1093/jrs/fex020
Reynolds, A. D., Hasson, R. G., & Crea, T. M. (2018). Testing the ‘overburdening’ hypothesis: Do work and school attendance together place youth at risk for negative housing outcomes? Children and Youth Services Review, 85, 279–286. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.01.008
Crea, T. M., Lopez, A., Hasson, R., Evans, K., Palleschi, C., & Underwood, D. (2018). Unaccompanied migrant children in long term foster care: Identifying needs and best practices from a child welfare perspective. Children & Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.12.017
Crea, T. M., Reynolds, A. D., Bunkers, K. M., & Bishop, C. M. (2018). Social service systems for vulnerable children and families in low- and middle-income countries: Establishing definitions and key components. International Journal of Social Welfare. doi: 10.1111/ijsw.12306
Crea, T. M., & Sparnon, N. (2017). Democratizing education at the margins: Faculty and practitioner perspectives on delivering online tertiary education for refugees. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14(43). doi: 10.1186/s41239-017-0081-y
Crea, T. M., Diaz-Valdes, A., Gruenfeld, E., Acevedo, J., Cerney, B., Medina, M., Hernandez, G., & Canelas, O. (2017). Food for Education in Honduras: Psychosocial correlates of childhood literacy. Prospects. doi 10.1007/s11125-017-9408-7
Crea, T. M., Lopez, A., Taylor, T., & Underwood, D. (2017). Unaccompanied migrant children in the United States: Predictors of placement stability in long-term foster care. Children & Youth Services Review, 73, 93–99. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.12.009.
Reynolds, A. D., & Crea, T. M. (2017). The integration of immigrant youth in US schools and friendship networks. Population Research & Policy Review, 36(4), 501–529.
8/18 to 7/23. Principal Investigator for Long Term Stress and Impairment in Children and Youth after an Acute Infectious Disease Outbreak: A Longitudinal Study of the Social, Familial and Individual Effects of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), #R01HD096699 ($2,568,749)
8/16 to 12/20 Principal Investigator for Food for Education Phase II Evaluation, funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Honduras ($262,802)
6/18 to 5/19 Principal Investigator for Research in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya: Special Needs Education Activities, Project Design, and Foundational Beliefs, funded by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) International ($120,443)
7/15 to 9/17 Principal Investigator for Midterm and Final Evaluations: Food for Education (FFE) “Learning for Life”, funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Guatemala ($209,557)
9/15 to 8/16 Principal Investigator for Central American Youth in Long-Term Foster Care: A Study of Child Welfare Outcomes and Documentation of Best Practices, funded by Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS) ($30,000)
Fellow of the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR), Class of 2017
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Boston College SSW (2013-2014; 2015-2016; 2017-2018)
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Boston College SSW (2009-2010; 2010-2011)
Spencer Fellowship in Education Research and Policy, Duke University (2004-2006)
University Merit Assistantship, UNC Chapel Hill (2003-2004)
Brody Fellowship, UNC Chapel Hill (2003-2004)
2001–2003, Adoption Supervisor, All God’s Children, Inc., A Special Needs Adoption Agency, Athens, Georgia
2000–2001, Adoption Caseworker, All God’s Children, Inc., A Special Needs Adoption Agency, Athens, Georgia
2000–2000, Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Inner Light Program, Family Counseling Service, Athens, Georgia
1999–2000, In-Home Crisis Counselor, Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED) Program, Child and Adolescent Unit, Northeast Georgia Center for Mental Health, Athens, Georgia