Social work

Amy Levin

Amy Levin
Associate Professor / Department Chair
(818) 677-7630
Office location:
SH 208


Amy Levin, Professor and Chair of the Social Work Department, joined the CSUN faculty in the Fall of 2004. Dr. Levin received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Southern California and her MSW from Columbia University. Dr. Levin has 12 years of practice experience as a clinician in mental health and child welfare agencies in New York and California. Dr. Levin has been a Field Liaison and a Field Instructor and has held teaching positions at the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College in Social Work and Public Administration. Dr. Levin’s research interests are in the area of at-risk youth and their self-esteem and motivation to stay in school, retention among child welfare employees, and integrated health among military Veterans. She has published numerous juried articles and monographs, presented papers at local, national and international conferences and is currently serving as Principle Investigator for two Federal Grants. Dr. Levin serves on several committees at CSUN and is a member of the Faculty Senate. She is also a board member at local community organizations, such as Rock the Classroom and Madison Community Collaborative. Dr. Levin currently serves as Vice-President of the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) and Vice-President of the National Association of Deans and Directors Schools of Social Work (NADD).


  • Ph.D. University of Southern California, Social Work
  • MSW, Columbia University
  • BA, University of California, San Diego, European History
  • BS, University of California, San Diego, Psychology

Courses Taught

  • • Generalist Social Work Theory and Practice
  • • Research Methods for Social Work Knowledge and Practice
  • • Macro Social Work Practice
  • • Advanced Skills in Program Evaluation and Research with Urban Families
  • • Mental Health Recovery and Wellness
  • • Capstone Class

Selected Publications and Presentations


“Antecedents to Retention and Turnover Among Child Welfare, Social Work, and Other Human Service Employees: What Can We Learn From Past Research? A Review and Meta-Analysis” (2001), Social Service Review, 75(4), 625-661, with M.E. Mor Barak and J.A. Nissly.

“Outside of the corporate Mainstream and Excluded from the Work Community: A Study of Diversity, Job Satisfactions and Well-Being” (2002), Community, Work and Family, 5,2, 133-157, with M.E. Mor Barak.

“Stress, Social Support and Workers’ Intentions to Leave Their Jobs in Public Child Welfare” (2004), Administration in Social Work, 29,1, 79-100, with M.E. Mor Barak and J.A. Nissly.

“Birthing A Dissertation: A Window into the Research Process” (2005), Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 11, 4, 24-30.

“Diversity Perceptions and Organizational Cultural in a County Child Welfare System” (2006), Children and Youth Services Review, 28,5, 548-577, with M.E. Barak and J.A. Nissly.

Mor Barak, M.E., Levin, A., & Nissly, J.A., Lane, C.J. (2006). "Why do they leave? Modeling child welfare workers’ turnover intentions" Children and Youth Services Review 28(5): 548-577.

“The Assessment of Staff Satisfaction as Compared to Client Satisfaction in Two Departments of Social Service Residential Treatment Facilities” (At Press, Spring 2008), Journal of Social Work for Children and Youth, Volume 23 ¾, with J. Decker.

Levin, A. (June, 2008).  "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act" in Parrillo, V.N. (Ed). Encyclopedia of Social Problems, Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks. 

Recent Abstracts-Invited

Brown, J. Levin, A., and Satermoe, C. “Building Collaborative Partnerships in School-Based Services: Evaluating the Youth of Promise (YOP) Mentoring Program.” National Network for Social Work Managers 23rd Annual Management Institute. San Diego, CA. April 26-27, 2012.

Korgan, C., Levin, A. and Durdella, N. "United States Veterans Returning to Education with PTSD" Abstract accepted for presentation at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference. Stanford, CA. October 28-29, 2011.

Ortiz, L., Levin, A. and Hernandez, S. “A Practice Model for Social and Personal Transformation”, Abstract accepted for presentation at the Social Welfare Action Alliance Conference, Washington, DC. June 10-12, 2011.

Lee, J. and Levin, A. “Acculturation and sexual behaviors among Latina adolescents who are transitioning to young adulthood” Abstract accepted for presentation at 14th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research. San Francisco, CA. January 14-17, 2010.

Levin, A. “Rock the Classroom: Exploring the Relationship between Music and Self-Esteem of At-Risk Youth.” Abstract accepted for Publication at the National Youth at Risk Conference. Savannah, Georgia: March 1-4, 2009.

“Rock the Classroom: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Music Intervention Program on Academic Performance, Motivation and Self-Esteem of At-Risk Youth”, Abstract presented,  The International Federation of Social Workers World Conference, Munich, Germany, July30-August 2, 2006.

“The Impact a Music Intervention Program Has on Self-Esteem, Academic Success and Motivation to Learn on Local Youth: Could There be Global Implications?”, Abstract presented, 16th Annual International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Durban, South Africa, July 23-29, 2006.

“Literacy, Music, Motivation and Self-Esteem of At-Risk Youth” Abstract presented, 13th Annual International Conference on Learning, Montego Bay, Jamaica, June 22-25, 2006.

“Keeping Students on the Right Path: How Service-Learning Helps Affirm the Career Choice of Social Work Students” Abstract presented, 1st Annual Conference on Community-Based Teaching and Research, March 3-4, 2006.

“What Students are Able to Gain from a Service Learning Based Course,” Abstract presented, 11th Annual Conference of the coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Torrance, October 3-5, 2005.

“Stress, Job Satisfaction and Social Support: What Relationship Do They Have to Workplace Turnover Intentions?” Abstract presented at 1st Annual Community, Work and Family Conference, Manchester, England, March 16-19, 2005.

“Child Welfare Workers Intentions to Leave: An Exploration of Organizational Climate and Workforce Diversity,” Abstract presented at 19th Annual San Diego Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego, January 24-25, 2005.


“At-Risk Youth Positively Affected by Music Intervention Program: In Depth Interviews Show Improvements in Self-Esteem, Motivation to Learn and Attitude toward School,” 2nd International Conference on Sociology, Athens, Greece, May, 2008.

Research and Interests

• Exploring ways to empower at-risk youth and help them increase skills of self-esteem, motivation to learn, and knowledge necessary to be successful in life.

• Improving organizational structure, and increasing job satisfaction and work-family balance, to improve employee retention and decrease turnover in organizations.

• Improving the mental and physical well-being of student veterans