- Child Welfare
- Family Law
- Special Education Law
- Mediation and Conflict Management/Resolution
- Law and Social Work
- Educational Outreach
Pam received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Florida (1977), her M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky (1978), and her doctorate in Law from the University of Kentucky (1989). She is a member in good standing of the Kentucky Bar. Her areas of focus and teaching are child welfare, the intersection of law and social work, and educational outreach.
Before coming to the university, Pam spent 20 years as a social worker and as an attorney, working primarily with children and families in mental health, education, child welfare and legal settings. Most recently, she served as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the Kentucky Department of Education presiding at due process hearings in disputes regarding education of children with disabilities. She also served as rotating chairperson and member of the Exceptional Children Appeals Board. Pam is a certified mediator, was a managing partner of Mediation Associates, LLC, a private mediation firm, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Mediation Center of Kentucky, a non-profit mediation center.
Currently, in her role as Director and Co-Principal Investigator of a Federal Title IV-E Education for Child Welfare Practice project (link to TRC CFL), Pam collaborates with multiple university and child welfare agency partners in the development and implementation of a state-wide educational outreach program targeting new and tenured state child protection workers. The program is designed to facilitate child safety, permanency and well-being by enhancing the professional expertise of child welfare personnel through graduate social work education, helping bridge the gap between research and practice.
Pam has served on numerous committees, panels and task force on child welfare related matters. She is currently a member of the Kentucky Blue Ribbon Panel on Adoption Transparency Workgroup, which is exploring the issue of public access to court proceedings in child protection cases, and is on the core planning committee of the Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative, addressing issues of racial disproportionality and disparate outcomes in public child welfare. She is also on the board of directors of Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, a non-profit therapeutic foster care agency. Pam has presented at national, international and regional conferences on topics related to her areas of focus.