PhD, Social Work, Rutgers University
Cohort One Fellow

Academic Mentor
Cassandra Simmel
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University School of Social Work

Policy Mentor
Allison Blake
Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families

Current Institutional Affiliation
West Chester University: Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Child Welfare and Foster Care Systems, Program Evaluation, Mixed Methods


Dr. Kerrie Ocasio is an Assistant Professor at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania Graduate Social Work Department following three years as an Assistant Research Professor at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. Dr. Ocasio has conducted numerous research projects with child welfare agencies in multiple states, primarily focusing on the implementation and outcomes of new practice approaches, relational permanency and outcomes for children and youth that have spent time in foster care, motivation for service participation, and family-centered practices. In addition, she has taught graduate courses in social welfare policy, research, and management. Dr. Ocasio’s teaching and research is informed by more than 10 years in child welfare practice and policy, including early childhood home visiting, school-linked services, child protection and family drug court services, as well as program development and strategic planning. She has a PhD in Social Work from Rutgers University, MSW from Fordham University and a BASW from Rutgers University.