Joy Ernst

Joy Ernst

Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs


Joy Ernst


Joy Swanson Ernst is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Ernst is a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar.  Prior to joining the Wayne State faculty in 2016, she was Professor of Social Work and director of the social work program at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.  She received her PhD in 1999 from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. While there, she was the research director for the Family Connections program.  She has had social work positions in agencies that serve families and children and runaway and homeless youth.   Dr. Ernst’s research interests include elder mistreatment and adult protective services (APS) programs. She has published articles on elder self-neglect, the use of multidisciplinary teams in APS, the neighborhood correlates of child maltreatment, child welfare practice in New Zealand, and several book chapters on elder abuse and neglect.  She serves on the research committee for the National Adult Protective Services Association and is a member of the Board of the National Center for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

• PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore
• M.S.W., Rutgers University
• B.A., History, University of Chicago

Teaching Interests

• Human rights and social justice
• Social work practice with older adults
• Social welfare history
• Social policy

Areas of Expertise

• Elder Justice
• Elder Abuse and Neglect
• Adult Protective Services (APS) programs
• Gerontological social work education

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