Photo of Sarah Todd

Sarah Todd

Full Professor

Degrees:MSW (McMaster); Ed.D. (OISE)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4498
Office:505 Dunton Tower

Courses Taught:

  • Community Development and Social Change
  • Social Work with Communities and Organizations
  • Practice Skills in Social Work
  • Advanced Theory of Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups and Communities
  • Critical Pedagogy

Research Interests/ Current Research Projects:

  • Professionalization of social work
  • Social Work Education
  • Youth
  • Community work practice
  • Feminist Organizing
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Whiteness
  • Post-structuralism and Postmodernism theories

Research Projects

Simulation Research on the Implicit Elements of Social Work Practice

The Simulation Research on the Implicit Elements of Social Work Practice project takes place in the SIM Social Work Research Lab Carleton School of Social Work. The study is a collaboration between Drs. Todd, Asakura and Grassau investigating how students, new practitioners and experienced practitioners navigate uncertainty in their practice. The study uses innovative simulation methods to investigate the strategies practitioners use at different stages of their careers to navigate interpersonal and situational uncertainty in practice.  This project aims to expand positivist notions of competencies so that they can include those aspects of clinical practice that have been shown to be of great value but are difficult to observe and measure. The research is funded by a Carleton SSHRC Explorer Grant.  The lab is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund 

Tracking Digital Declarations:  Facilitating Evidence-based Innovation across Youth Centres

The Tracking Digital Declarations project is an SSHRC funded study that explores digital tools for documenting attendance and immediate outcomes at volunteer-based, non-profit initiatives that can be shared with funders, stakeholders and researchers. Together with technology partner Distill Mobile, the national organization Youth Centres Canada and six grassroots youth centres, we will take a participatory approach to understand who uses youth centre programs and to establish tools to link sign-in data to participation patterns and program impacts. This partnership will address the problems faced by our community partners of how to develop data collection practices and technologies that are low cost, sustainable and able to collect a high standard data that is flexible enough to be meaningful in a wide range of communities with diverse populations as well as facilitative of further academic research.

Partnership Development Grant

Youth REX

Like the rest of the grassroots sector, youth centres lack secure and sustainable funding and are continually asked to do more with less. Funding agencies and governments have largely moved away from multi-year core funding to short term project funding. This has increased the precariousness of these organizations and has resulted in increased numbers of part-time contract employees with low wages and few, if any, benefits. These funding conditions limit the capacity of youth centres to collect, clean and analyze the data necessary to document who is using their services, track the patterns of program usage and share these findings with funders, governmental stakeholders and academics.

YouthREX is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services and its mission is to make research evidence and evaluation accessible and relevant to Ontario’s youth sector through knowledge mobilization, capacity building and evaluation leadership.

The Eastern Ontario Hub is currently supporting grassroots youth organizations in developing theories of change and we are providing customized evaluation supports. The hub recently developed a webinar on “art jams” as evaluation outside the lines. We are also networking with francophone youth-serving organizations in the region.

Sarah discussing her work with YouthREX.


Articles in Refereed Journals

2018    Asakura, K., Strumm, B., Todd, S. & Varghese, R. (co-author) Teaching of Clinical Social Work from a Social Justice Lens.  Journal of Social Work Education.

2018    Asakura, K., Todd, S., Eagle, B. & Morris, B. (co-author).  Strengthening the Signature Pedagogy of Social Work: Conceptualizing Field Coordination as  A Negotiated Social Work Pedagogy.  Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 38, 2, 151-165.

2018    Moffatt, K., Todd, S., Barnoff, L., Pyne, J., Panitch, M., Parada, H., McLeod, S., Hunter Young, N. (co-author) Worry about professional education:     Emotions and affect in the context of neoliberal change in postsecondary education.  Emotion, Space and Society. 

2017    Barnoff, L., Moffatt, K., Todd, S., Panitch, M., & Parada, H. (co-author).  Academic Leadership in the Context of Neoliberalism:  The Practice of Social Work Directors. Canadian Social Work Review,34, 1, 5-21.

2016    Todd, S., Kuzmarov, B., Sucharov, M., Douglas, S., Schwartz, K. (lead author).  Teaching Subjectively: Interdisciplinary Insights. Canadian Journal for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning. (30 pages).

2016    Moffatt, K., Panitch, M., Parada, H.,  Todd, S., Barnoff, L., Aslett, J. (co-author). The discourse of innovation in educational reform: The Case of the Strategic Mandate Agreements in Ontario Canada Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, 38, 4 (co-author) (22 pages).

2015    Todd, S., Barnoff, L., Moffatt, K., Panitch, M., Parada, H., Mucina, M., Williams, D. (lead author). Performativity Culture in Universities: Social Work Fabrications.  British Journal of Social Work, 45, 2, 527-548 (21 pages).  This article was chosen as Editor’s Choice.

2012    Sundar, P., Todd, S., Danseco, E., Cunning, S. & Prakash, S. (co-author).  Toward a culturally-responsive Approach to Child and Youth Mental Health Practice:  Integrating the Perspectives of Service Users.   Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 1, 31, 1-15 (15 pages).

2012    Todd, S. (sole author).  Practicing in the uncertain:  Reworking Standardized Clients as Improv Theatre.  Social Work Education, 31, 3, 302-315 (13 pages).

2011    Todd, S. (sole author). “That power and privilege thing”: Securing Whiteness in Community Work.   Journal of Progressive Human Services, 22, 2, 117-134 (27 pages).

2009    Cain, R. & Todd, S. (co-author). HIV/AIDS and the Changing Treatment Context.  Qualitative Social Work, 8, 2, 249-265 (16 pages).

2008    Sundar, P. & Todd, S.  (co-author). Opening the Space between Innocent and Oppressive Ways of Knowing:  Challenges and Opportunities in Doing Research with Diverse Communities, Currents, 7, 1, 1-15 (15 pages).

2008    Cain, R. & Todd, S. (co-author) Managing Funding Constraints in Frontline HIV/AIDS Social Services in Canada.  Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services.  7, 3, pp. 265-287 (23 pages).

2007    Todd, S. & Burns, A. (lead author). Post-Structural Possibilities: Beyond Structural Practice in Child Protection.  Canadian Social Work Review, 24, 1, pp. 23-38. (15 pages).

2007    Todd, S. & Coholic, D. (lead author).  Christian Fundamentalism and Anti-Oppressive Social Work Pedagogy, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 27, 3-4. (23 pages).

Chapters in Edited Books

2016    Todd, S. (sole author).  Community Practice and Ethics. In Richard Hugman and Jan Carter, eds., Rethinking Values and Ethics in Social Work. London, UK: Palgrave-MacMillan (22 pages).

2016    Todd, S. (sole author).  Feminist Therapy.  In Nick Coady and Peter Lehmann, eds., Theoretical Perspectives for Direct Social Work Practice:  A Generalist-Eclectic Approach, 3rd Edition.  Springer Publishing Company, 357-372 (invited contribution) (36 pages).

2015    Todd, S. & Coholic, D. (lead author) Christian fundamentalism and AOP pedagogy:  Rethinking the inclusion of fundamentalist beliefs within the queer-positive classroom.  In O’Neil, B., Mule, N. & Swan, T., eds., LGBTQ People and Social Work: Intersectional Perspectives.  Toronto:  Canadian Scholars Press, 277-296 (invited contribution).

2012    Todd, S. (sole author).  The Ties that bind and unwind: spirituality in the secular social work classroom.  In Janet Groen and John Graham, eds., Spirituality in Education & Social Work:  An Interdisciplinary Dialogue.  Wilfrid Laurier Press, 121-140 (19 pages).

2009    Todd, S. (sole author). Mobilizing Communities for Social Change:  Integrating Mindfulness and Passionate Politics.  In Steve Hick, ed., Mindfulness and Social Work.  Chicago:  Lyceum Books, 171-187 (17 pages).

 2007    Todd, S. (sole author).  Feminist Community Organizing:  The Spectre of the Sacred and the Secular.  In John Coates, John Graham, Barbara Sartzentruber and Brian Ouellette, eds., Spirituality and Social Work:  Selected Canadian Readings.  Toronto:  Canadian Scholars Press, 161-174 (13 pages)(reprint of 2004 article).

2006    Todd, S. & Lundy, C. (lead author).  Framing Woman Abuse: A Structural Perspective. In Ramona Alaggia and Cathy Vine, eds., Cruel but not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families, Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press327-369 (42 pages).

2005    Todd, S. (sole author).  Unfinished Fictions: Becoming and Unbecoming Feminist Community Organizers.  In Jan Fook, Steve Hick and John Pozzuto, eds., Critical Approaches in Social Work.  Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, 139-154 (15 pages).

Major Encyclopedia or Dictionary Articles

2015    Todd, S (sole author). Social justice and social action:  Organizing for change. In L. Dominelli (ed.) Social Work Subsection. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition.  London:  Elsevier. (Invited contribution)(14 pages).

Non-refereed Book Chapters

2016    Todd, S. (sole author). Social Work and Sexual and Gender Diversity:  Celebrating Human Diversity. In Steve Hick & Jackie Stokes, eds. Social Work Practice In Canada:  An Introduction, 4th edition,  298 –325.  Toronto:  Thompson Educational Press (27 pages).

2010    Todd, S. & Wiebe, M. (lead author). Social Work with Groups and Communities.  In Steve Hick, ed., Social Work in Canada:  An Introduction, 3rd edition. Toronto: Thompson Publishing, 112-128 (16 pages).

 2010    Todd, S. (sole author).  Social Work Practice: Sexual and Gender Diversity.  In Steve Hick, ed., Social Work Practice in Canada:  An Introduction 3rd edition.  Toronto:  Thompson Educational Press, 292-308 (16 pages).

2005    Todd, S. (sole author).  Social Work Practice: Sexual and Gender Diversity.  In Steve Hick, ed., Social Work Practice in Canada:  An Introduction.  Toronto:  Thompson Educational Press, 273-295 (22 pages).

 Affiliations/Positions Held:

  • Canadian Association of Social Work Education
  • Canadian Association of Social Workers
  • Advisory Board Member, Safe People Project, Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre
  • 2007- 2014 Editorial Board Member, Canadian Social Work Review, (anglophone editor 2009-2014)
  • 2004-2014, Member of Executive Board, Studies in Political Economy Journal