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Jessica Schmidt
Jessica Schmidt

Role: Assistant Director, Child Welfare Education Program, Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services

Education: PhD of Social Work and Social Research, Portland State University, 2015; Masters of Social Work- Title IV-E, San Diego State University, 2007; Bachelor’s of Sociology, University of Sydney, 2004

Experience: Jessica is a career long social worker and has worked in and alongside the field of child welfare for over 13 years. She began her career supporting young people residing in residential treatment before earning her MSW as a Title IV-E stipend child welfare student in 2007. After working in child welfare as a caseworker in voluntary services and adoptions in California, she chose to pursue a PhD of Social Work and Social Research at Portland State University, where she graduated in 2015. Jessica worked on research studies, such as My Life, Better Futures and FUTURES, that evaluated programs aimed at enhancing the self-determination of young people aging out of foster care. Beginning as a GRA, she moved into a Project Manager role and then into a Principal Investigator role in this line of research. Jessica is also trained and certified as a coach in the My Life model and provided direct support to youth in this role. She has also been a foster parent in Oregon for the past four years for teens and young adults. Jessica has experience teaching the research series courses for the MSW program at Portland State University and has been a research mentor, advisor, and field instructor for students in a variety of programs including Build Exito, Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, and the School of Social Work. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her wife, their six children, and their many pets, hosting dinner for friends, catching a good movie, and heading outdoors for camping or hiking.

Contact Information:; (503) 725-8018