Lea Tufford is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Laurentian University. Lea’s primary areas of research are the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, the use of simulation in social work education, holistic competence, and mindfulness meditation. In addition to numerous journal articles she is the author of Child Abuse and Neglect in Canada: A Guide for Mandatory Reporters (2019) published by Oxford University Press. Lea’s teaching interests include emotional regulation, reflection, and the application of theory to practice. She incorporates simulation through the use of standardized clients in direct practice courses with individuals, couples, and families.
Lea is the Principal Investigator of a 3-year (2018 – 2021) Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded study called “Evaluating Decision-Making and Relationship Competence when Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect.” Along with Professor Marion Bogo, co-investigator, University of Toronto and Dr. Barbara Lee, co-investigator, University of British Columbia she is developing and validating an Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) for mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect through the use of simulation. This research represents the final phase in the development of a comprehensive educational toolkit to train social work students and practitioners in decision-making and relationship maintenance when reporting suspected child maltreatment.
Lea’s research and teaching are informed by 20 years of clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families. She is a Couple and Family Therapist with the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals, and a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She maintains a private practice.