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May 13, 2020

Social Work professor Garners national media attention

Dr. April Dirks, professor of social work, received national attention from NPR and CBS for her work on the opioid epidemic.

“NPR wanted my interpretation of federal data that was not yet released, and wanted to see what I thought of the data,” said Dirks.

Dirks was also approached by CBS News to offer her professional critique of data.

Her research focuses primarily on the opioid epidemic’s impact on parents and their children. Dirks will be taking a sabbatical in Fall 2020 to continue her research on the correlation between the opioid epidemic and the increased number of children in the foster care system. She plans to focus on parents who have lost custody of their children due to an opioid addiction.

“There is a crisis in the foster care system,” said Dirks. “If we can learn from the parents, then we can help reduce the numbers in the foster care system.”