Maureen Riley-Behringer, LISW, MSSA, PhD

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Maureen E. Riley-Behringer is a lecturer at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She has been a clinical social worker for the last 25 years and has taught across the undergraduate (2016-1019) and graduate (2004-2015; 2019-Present) social work curriculum. In conjunction with her teaching, Maureen maintains a private practice in Beachwood, Ohio.

In addition, Maureen has also been a hospice social worker and a hospital social worker on the burn intensive care unit (BICU). Across these clinical settings, Maureen has worked with children, youth and adult populations from diverse backgrounds; these client populations have coped with a host of compounding life challenges (i.e., discrimination; mental illness; cognitive and emotional delays; poverty; illness; drug/alcohol abuse and/or recovery; intimate partner violence and child maltreatment).

A practice specialization for Maureen has been working with those who are building new families through foster care and adoptive placement following children’s early life trauma experiences (i.e., birth – age three years). Her main areas of academic study relate to foster and adoptive family support, life after trauma, parent decision-making, and factors influencing interdisciplinary care team decision-making (peer-review publications in Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology; the Journal of Public Child Welfare; Clinical Pediatrics; and Addictive Disorders & their Treatment).

Additionally, she has written book chapters on clinical strategies for working with foster-adoptive children and families (e.g., Riley-Behringer, M. & Groza, V. [2018]. Interventions designed for children with histories of institutionalization and placed in foster or adoptive families. In Rus, Parris, & Stativa (Eds.), Child Abuse and Neglect in Orphanages - History, Research, and Implications; and Crampton, D. S. & Riley-Behringer, M. (2012). What works in family support services? In P. Curtis & G. Alexander (2012), What Works in Child Welfare?).

Maureen’s dissertation research examined the effects that prenatal risk and early life care had on behavioral problems, self-regulation, and physiological stress modulation in children of intercountry adoption. She has served in different roles of social worker supervision: 1) a field supervisor for MSSA students; 2) providing supervision for a MSSA-level LSW as he/she worked towards independent licensure (LISW); and 3) a field liaison between the college/university social work program, student, and placement agency. Maureen teaches courses in social work practice and social policy.

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Resilience in children, youth and parents as they re-build families; empowering foster and adoptive parents to heal after trauma
  • Social work education, especially training students in social work practice, policy and trauma-informed care