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Photo of Geiger, Jennifer M.

Jennifer M. Geiger, PhD

Associate Professor

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

ETMSW 4234


1040 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Office Phone:



Dr. Geiger has more than 10 years of practice experience promoting resilience and well-being for children and families involved in the child welfare system and those who are in need, as well as experience in program evaluation and training.

Professional Interests

Promoting and Supporting Foster Care Alumni in Postsecondary Education Settings
Resilience in Families and Children Involved in the Child Welfare System
Assessing and Cultivating Empathy

Teaching Experience

SocW 529: Kinship Care: A Comprehensive Overview
SocW 547: Advanced Child Welfare Practice
SocW 582: Practice III: Practice with Children and Families
SocW 583: Practice IV: Practice with Children and Families
SocW 595: Social Work Education

Selected Publications


Schelbe, L., Geiger, J.M., Schoborg, C. & Jackson, L. (2023). How do students involved with a Campus Support Program for Students with a History of Foster Care, Relative Care, or Homelessness Fare after Graduation? Child and Youth Care Forum.

Gross, J.P., Geiger, J.M., King, G., & King, S. (2023). Money matters: Factors associated with receipt of financial aid among youth who have experienced foster care. Journal of Student Financial Aid.

Gross, J.P., Geiger, J.M., Uhls, E., & King, G. (2023). The relationship between financial aid and postsecondary completion among youth formerly in foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Geiger, J.M. & Johnson, R.M. (2023). Expanding our understanding of student experiences and the supports and programs for college students with foster care experience: An introduction to the special issue on foster care and higher education. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Geiger, J.M., Diaz-Strong, D.X., & Orellana Cormack, C. (2023). “I think there’s a lot of intersectionality”: College experiences of immigrant-origin Latinx young adults with a foster care background. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Lopez, K., Geiger, J.M., Okpych, N.J., Gamez, S., & Larregui, D. (2022). The impact of COVID-19 on campus-based support programs serving students with foster care experience. Children and Youth Services Review.

Schelbe, L., Dworsky, A., Shpiegel, S., Eastman, A.L., Geiger, J.M., Garrido, M., & Desiderio, G. (2022). Promoting postsecondary educational success among young parents in and aging out of foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal (Special Issue on Expectant and Parenting Foster Youth).

Schelbe, L., & Geiger, J. M. (2022). Ensuring Authentic Representation and Collaboration Along with Research to Re-Design Child Welfare. Research on Social Work Practice.

Geiger, J.M. & Okpych, N. J. (2021). What Policies, Programs, and Individual Factors are Associated with Postsecondary Education Enrollment and Employment among Youth with Foster Care Histories?. The Scholar-Practitioner: Oklahoma State University.

Geiger, J.M. & Okpych, N.J. (2021). Connected after care: Youth characteristics, policy, and programs associated with postsecondary education and employment for youth with foster care histories. Child Maltreatment.

Katz, C. C., & Geiger, J.M. (2021). The role of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in the lives of youth as they transition from foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Katz, C. C. & Geiger, J.M. (2020). “We need that person that doesn’t give up on us”: The role of social support in the pursuit of post-secondary education for transition-aged foster youth. Child Welfare, 97(6), 149-167.

Piel, M. H., Geiger, J.M., Schelbe, L., Day, A., & Kearney, K. (2020). Lessons learned from campus-based support programs for students with a history of foster care. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 57(1), 77-89.

Rueda, H. A., Brown, M. L., & Geiger, J.M. (2020). Technology and dating in residential foster care: A Mixed qualitative approach comparing staff and adolescent perspectives. Journal of Adolescent Research, 35(4), 521-545.

Schelbe, L., Day, A., Geiger, J.M., & Piel, M. H. (2019). The state of evaluations of campus-based support programs serving foster care alumni in higher education. Child Welfare, 97(2), 23-40.

Miller, J., Duron, J., Donohue-Dioh, J., & Geiger, J.M. (2019). Examining legal representation for foster youth involved in dependency court proceedings: Perspectives of foster parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 104. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104402

Leathers, S.J., & Spielfogel, J.E., Geiger, J.M., Barnett, J., & Vande Voort, B.L. (2019). Predicting placement disruption among children with multiple moves in foster care: Behavior, support and parenting experiences. Child Abuse & Neglect, 91, 147-159.

Geiger, J.M. (2019). [Review of the book Childhood maltreatment by C. Wekerle, D.A. Wolfe, D. A., J.A. Cohen, J. A., D.S. Bromberg, D. S., & L. Murray, L.], Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 2, 221-222.

Repp, I. & Geiger, J.M. (2019). Invisible parents: Foster home licensing transparency on state-level websites. Child Welfare, 96 (4), 1-21.

Geiger, J.M., Piel, M.H., Day, A., & Schelbe, L. (2018). A Descriptive analysis of programs serving foster care alumni in higher education: Challenges and opportunities. Children and Youth Services Review, 85, 287-294.

Geiger, J.M. & Beltran, S.J. (2017). Readiness, access, preparation, and support for foster care alumni in higher education: A review of the literature. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 11(4-5), 487-515.

Geiger, J.M., Cheung, J.R., Hanrahan, J.E., Lietz, C.A., & Carpenter, B. (2017). Increasing competency, self-confidence, and connectedness among foster care alumni entering a 4-year university: Findings from an early-start program. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(5), 566-579.

Lietz, C.A., & Geiger, J.M. (2017). Guest editorial: Advancing a family-centered practice agenda in child welfare. Journal of Family Social Work, 20(4),267-270.

Julien-Chinn, F.J., Cotter, K., Piel, M.H., Geiger, J.M., & Lietz, C.A. (2017). Examining risk, strengths, and functioning for foster families: Implications for strengths-based practice. Journal of Family Social Work, 20(4), 306-321.

Geiger, J.M. & Beltran, S.J. (2017). Outcomes and experiences of foster care alumni in postsecondary education: A review of the literature. Children and Youth Services Review, 79, 186-197.

Schelbe, L. & Geiger, J.M. (2017). Parenting under pressure: Experiences of parenting youth aging out of foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34(1), 51-64.

Geiger, J.M., Piel, M.H., Julien-Chinn, F.J. (2017). Improving relationships in child welfare practice: Perspectives of foster care providers. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34(1), 23-33.

Piel, M.H., Geiger, J.M., Lietz, C.A., & Julien-Chinn, F.J. (2017). An ecological systems approach to supporting foster parents and families. Child and Family Social Work, (22) 2, 1034-1043.

Lietz, C.A., Julien-Chinn, F.J., Geiger, J.M., & Piel, M.H. (2016). Cultivating resilience in families who foster: Understanding how families cope and adapt over time. Family Process, 55(4), 660-672. doi: 10.1111/famp.12239

Geiger, J.M., Piel, M.H., Lietz, C.A., & Julien-Chinn, F.J. (2016). Empathy as an essential foundation in successful fostering. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(12), 3771-3779. doi: 10.1007/s10826-016-0529-z

Geiger, J.M., Hanrahan, J.E., Cheung, J.R., & Lietz, C.A. (2016). Developing an on-campus recruitment and retention support program for foster care alumni. Children and Youth Services Review, 61, 271-280.

Hayes, J., Geiger, J.M., & Lietz, C.A. (2015). Navigating a complicated system of care: Foster parent satisfaction with behavioral and medical health services. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(6), 493-505.

Wagaman, M.A., Geiger, J.M., Shockley, C., & Segal, E.A. (2015). The role of empathy in burnout, compassion satisfaction, and secondary traumatic stress among social workers. Social Work, 60(3), 201-209.

Geiger, J.M., Hayes, M.J., & Lietz, C.A. (2014). Providing foster care for adolescents: Barriers and opportunities. Child & Youth Services, 35(3), 237-254.

Raissian, K.M., Dierkhising, C., Geiger, J.M., Schelbe, L.A. (2014). Child maltreatment reporting patterns and predictors of substantiation: Comparing adolescents and younger children. Child Maltreatment, 19(1), 3-16. doi: 10.1177/1077559513518096.

Geiger, J.M. & Schelbe, L.A. (2014). Stopping the cycle of child abuse and neglect: A call to action to focus on pregnant and parenting youth in and aging out of the foster care system. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 8, 25-50. doi: 10.1080/15548732.2013.824398.

Geiger, J.M., Hayes, M.J., Lietz, C.A. (2013). Should I stay or should I go? A mixed methods study examining factors influencing foster parents’ decision to continue or discontinue fostering. Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 1356-1365.

Books and Book Chapters

Geiger, J.M. & Schelbe, L. (2021). Handbook of Child Welfare Practice. New York, NY: Springer Nature.

Geiger, J.M. & Gross, J.P. (2019). An Overview: Foster Care and Policies Designed to Support Youth in Care. In J.P. Gross, Reaching Higher: Former Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education (pp. 39-58). New York, New York: Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.

Gross, J.P. & Geiger, J.M. (2019). How Former Foster Youth Finance Higher Education. In J.P. Gross, Reaching Higher: Former Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education (pp. 107-132). New York, New York: Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.

Gross, J.P. & Geiger, J.M. (2019). Campus-Based Support Programs. In J.P. Gross, Reaching Higher: Former Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education (pp. 133-147). New York, New York: Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.

Schelbe, L.A., Geiger, J.M., Julien-Chinn, F.J., & Boel-Studt, S. (2017). Foster Care. In J. Conte & B. Klika (eds.), The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment. Los Angeles: Sage.

Segal, E.A., Gerdes, K.E., Lietz, C.A., Wagaman, M.A., & Geiger, J.M. (2017). Assessing Empathy. New York: Columbia University Press.

Schelbe, L. & Geiger, J.M. (2017). Intergenerational Transmission of Child Maltreatment. New York: Springer.

Editorial Reviews

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Children and Youth Services Review
Child Welfare
Child and Family Social Work
Journal of Family Social Work
Journal of Public Child Welfare


BA, Arizona State University
MSW, Arizona State University
PhD, Arizona State University

Professional Memberships

Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Research Collaborative for Foster Alumni and Higher Education

Research Currently in Progress

Child welfare and child well-being
Youth aging out of foster care
Child maltreatment prevention
Foster family functioning and satisfaction