Dr. Cynthia Lietz

Cynthia A. Lietz, PhD, LCSW is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Arizona State University’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Cynthia is responsible for advancing the educational mission of the college which includes serving over 5,000 students in 30 degree programs across four academic units including the Schools of Social Work, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Community Resources and Development, and Public Affairs.

Cynthia conducts research that informs strengths-based practice with children and families in social work. Cynthia is interested in examining the process of resilience for families who overcome loss, trauma, or other challenges that predict family dissolution or discord. She has developed a typology that describes the stages and corresponding protective factors that help families overcome negative outcomes associated with risk.

Cynthia is also interested in how strengths-based research is translated to practice. Specifically, she developed Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS; Lietz, 2013), a model of clinical supervision that supports the effective implementation of family-centered practice principles in child welfare. SBS has been adopted by the statewide public child welfare systems in Arizona, Texas, and Idaho and has been incorporated in trainings conducted by several organizations including Casey Family Programs, the Butler Institute, the Virginia Chapter of NASW, and the Iowa Department of Human Services. Over 1,000 supervisors have been trained in SBS.

Prior to coming to ASU, Cynthia worked for over ten years as a social work practitioner working with children and families who were involved in the child welfare system. Her practice experience influenced her commitment to social work practice and is regularly incorporated into her teaching. Cynthia was awarded the Centennial Professor Award in 2012 by the Associated Students of Arizona State University to honor excellence in teaching and community engagement.