I am an Associate Professor at McMaster University School of Social Work. My program of research focuses on child welfare, particularly child welfare service users’ perspectives, and also anti-oppression, anti-racism, and related approaches to social work. More recently, I have begun researching the way physical places, objects and artwork that have cultural, religious, or political meaning for people, shape their identity, their ideas about who they are, their relationship with others, and the ways they understand fairness and social justice. Most of my research is participatory, community based, and grounded in the knowledge, stories and places of people’s everyday lives. I place emphasis on developing theory and knowledge for and in partnership with those whose everyday lives are impacted by the ideas, policies, and practices that the academy, governments, and social workers produce.

Dr. Gary Dumbrill
McMaster University
School of Social Work
Hamilton, Ontario
1 (905) 525-9140 ext 23791

Book Launch (2018)
The Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) book I authored with Dr. June Ying Yee was formally launched at a Toronto event on November 5, 2018. In this book we seek to redefine how AOP is known, talked about, and undertaken.

Guest speakers at the event included Cyndy Baskin, Lisa Barnoff,  Kike Ojo, Christina Sinding, and Richard Utama.

Thanks to Ryerson and McMaster Universities for sponsoring the event.

Book Announcement (2018)
A book on anti-oppressive social work practice I co-authored with Dr. June Ying Yee has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Dumbrill, G. C., & Yee, J., Y. (2018). Anti-Oppressive Social Work: Ways of Knowing, Talking, and Doing. Oxford University Press, Toronto, Canada.

Check the book out at the following links: Oxford University Press or Amazon.ca.

Child Welfare Pathway (2017-2020)
I am the McMaster lead for a child welfare specialization program that is a as a part of a regular BSW degree program - the Preparing for Critical Approaches in Child Welfare (PCPCW) pathway. The PCPCW has been developed in partnership with Ontario child welfare agencies.

The PCPCW sets out to prepare graduates with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to work successfully in the child welfare system, while also having the critical thinking ability to think outside it. The PCPCW curriculum was designed in consultation with child welfare workers and managers, and also in consultation with children, youth, parents and communities receiving child welfare services. The curriculum also draws best practice from around the world, including Indigenous approaches to child welfare.

Click the image on the left for more details. Also see

3Voices in Child Welfare (2017 - ongoing)
Details of the 3Voices in Child Welfare series which I chair. The series pays attention to Indigenous, Black and other voices underrepresented in the way child welfare is imagined and delivered, and promotes child welfare approaches developed in collaboration between the following groups (which of course often overlap):

1/ Service users (those receiving child welfare services)
2/ Service providers (those delivering child welfare services)
3/ Academics and traditional knowledge keepers (those teaching and sharing knowledge about child welfare)

The poster on the left (click to expand) summarizes the first conference held in 2017. The next conference will be held in 2019-2020.

(The conference series is funded by Dr. Sally Palmer).