College Of Health & Human Sciences

Tonya Westbrook



Associate Professor
Phone: 828-227-2578
Office: Health and Human Sciences (HHS) 310


Ph.D., University of Georgia
M.S.W., University of Cincinnati
B.S.W., Jacksonville State University
B.S., Jacksonville State University


Dr. Westbrook joined the Department of Social Work at WCU in fall 2007 after completing her PhD in social work at University of Georgia and teaching for one year at East Carolina University. With over 10 years social work practice experience in public child welfare in Alabama and Georgia, Dr. Westbrook’s teaching, research, and service all primarily focus on child welfare workforce issues of employee education and professional development and employee retention and turnover. Dr. Westbrook serves as WCU’s liaison to the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative, a statewide initiative focused on educating social work students to enter the public child welfare workforce upon graduation.

Publications and Research:


Negrea, D., Rapp, C., Westbrook, T.M., Lasher, R., Hahn, S.A., Schure, M, & Goins, R.T. (in press). Research attitudes and their correlates among undergraduate social work students. Journal of Social Work Education.

Westbrook, T.M., & Crolley-Simic, J. (2012). Perceptions of Administrative and Supervisory Support in Public Child Welfare. Advances in Social Work, 13(3), 1-15.

Reed-Ashcraft, K., Westbrook, T.M., & Williams, E. (2012). North Carolina's Child Welfare Education Collaborative (NCCWEC): One State's Long-Term Commitment Toward an Improved Workforce. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6,(4), 425 – 443.

Westbrook, T.M., Ellett, A.J., & Asberg, K. (2012). Predicting public child welfare employees’ intentions to remain employed with the Child Welfare Organizational Culture Inventory. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 1214-1221. [Note: Online first version published in February, 2012]. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.02.010.

Westbrook, T.M., Ellett, A.J., & DeWeaver, K.W. (2009). Development and validationof a measure of organizational culture in public child welfare agencies. Research on Social Work Practice, 19(6), 730-741.

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