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Jennifer Ma, BA, MSW, PhD, RSW

Assistant Professor

Office: Education Building, Room 450
Phone: (306) 585-4549
Fax: (306) 585-4872

Research interests
Transnationalism, migration, and diaspora; forcibly displaced populations; racialized communities; solidarity among Black, Indigenous, and racialized people; anti-colonial, anti-racist, and liberatory approaches to social work research and practice; nature-based approaches to healing; child welfare decision-making and systemic discrimination; critical approaches to quantitative research

Dr. Jennifer Ma’s research focuses on systemic oppression and addressing social inequalities through a critical race feminist, anti-colonial framework and multi-method approaches. Her research interests revolve around social justice work with communities that are systemically discriminated against, including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) communities, racialized migrants and forcibly displaced people, children and families involved with child welfare, 2SLGBTQIA+ people and the intersections among these positionalities.

Dr. Ma is a Counsellor/Therapist at an integrative health centre. Her research and practice involves addressing the trauma of BIPOC communities through a community-engaged model that connects healing and political agency. Specifically, her research is in these interrelated areas: 1) systemic discrimination towards First Nations and racialized migrants through child welfare and migration systems; and 2) community-led, anti-colonial, and anti-racist responses to systemic discrimination, including critical statistics, creative and participatory methods, nature-based approaches, and solidarity organizing among scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists.

Dr. Ma is also an Adjunct Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. She is the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC-funded project, Building Solidarity among emerging BIPOC scholars, practitioners, and activists: Select topics in migration. The objective of the project is to draw on and bridge together the work and lived experiences of emerging BIPOC academics, practitioners, artists, and activists to foster new and evolving critical perspectives on migration. In particular, the symposium is aimed at building a united front amongst BIPOC by centering anti-colonial and anti-racist narratives, and shifting to transformative healing and collective resistance, while considering the discursive and on-the-ground effects of xenophobia and racist policies and practice.

Dr. Ma completed her Bachelors of Arts in psychology (specialized honours) at York University and her Masters of Social Work and PhD at the University of Toronto. Her thesis, entitled A critical analysis of the overrepresentation of First Nations children and families in the Ontario child welfare system and disparities in providing ongoing child welfare services, was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. During her doctorate, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

Ma, J. (2020). The intersection and parallels of Aboriginal peoples’ and racialized migrants’ experiences of colonialism and child welfare in Canada. International Social Work. DOI: 10.1177/0020872819897757.

Shlonsky, A., Ma, J., Jeffreys, C., Parolini, A., & Katz, I. (2019). Pathways of children reported for domestic and family violence to Australian child protection. Australian Social Work, 72(4), 461-472.

Ma, J. & Fallon, B., Alaggia, R., & Richard, K. (2019). First Nations children and disparities in transfers to ongoing child welfare services in Ontario following a child protection investigation. Children and Youth Services Review,101, 207-216.

Ma, J., Fallon, B., & Richard, K. (2019). The overrepresentation of First Nations children and families involved with child welfare: Findings from the Ontario incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect 2013. Child Abuse & Neglect, 90, 52-65.

Fast, E., Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., & Ma, J. (2014) A troubled group? Adolescents in a Canadian child welfare sample. Children and Youth Services Review, 46, 47-54.

Ma, J., Van Wert, M., Lee, B., Fallon, B., & Trocmé, N. (2013). Non-English/non-French speaking caregivers involved with the Canadian child welfare system: Findings from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS-2008). International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1(1), 23-34.

Van Wert, M., Ma, J., Lefebvre, R., Fallon, B., & Trocmé, N. (2013). An examination of delinquency in a national Canadian sample of child maltreatment related investigations. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1(1), 112-141.

Fallon, B., Ma, J., Allan, K., Trocmé, N., & Jud, A. (2013). Child maltreatment-related investigations involving infants: Opportunities for resilience? International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1(1), 35-47.

Fallon, B., Ma, J., Allan, K., Pillhofer, M., Trocmé, N., & Jud, A. (2013). Opportunities for prevention and intervention with young children: Lessons from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 7(4), 1-13.

Fallon, B., Ma, J., Black, T., & Wekerle, C. (2011). Characteristics of young parents investigated and opened for ongoing services in child welfare. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 9(4), 365-381.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:

Ma, J. (forthcoming, fall 2022). Critical statistics as resistance. In C. Fortier, N. Penak, M.J. Rwigema, & E.H.S. Wong (Eds.), Abolition Social Work / Social Work Abolition. Toronto: Between the Lines.

Saini, M. & Ma, J. (2012). Cultural dynamics of divorce and parenting after divorce. In K. Kuehnle & L. Drozd (Eds.), Parenting Plan Evaluations: Applied Research for the Family Court (pp. 514-539). NY: Oxford University Press.