Biography Curriculum Vitae 

Zoe Breen Wood

Director, Office of Educational Outcome Assessment

Assistant Professor

PhD, Case Western Reserve University
MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University
BA, Sociology and Psychology, University of Illinois

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Room 102
Case Western Reserve University
11235 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106


Dr. Zoë Breen Wood is an Assistant Professor and member of the faculty and at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University with over 30 years’ experience as a practitioner, manager, trainer and consultant in the field of social work. She received her BA from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and her PhD from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Her research focuses on factors that contribute to positive adoption outcomes for children placed through the child welfare system.

In addition to her extensive child welfare background, Dr. Wood has worked for much of her career on the implementation and evaluation of competency based education, and provided consultation and training in leadership development.

Read More about Zoe Breen Wood

Course List

  • Direct Practice Methods
  • Adoption Practice and Policy
  • Travel and Study to Guatemala
  • Trauma Informed Child Welfare Practice


  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Child Welfare League of America
  • Council on Social Work Education

Scholarly Interests

  • Child welfare especially in the areas of child neglect and special needs adoption
  • Policy practice
  • Outcome based education/ Learning centered education

Why I Chose This Profession

Growing up, I always wanted to “make a difference” and initially thought about going into politics or international relations. One of my first jobs was supposed to be “only temporary”. As a child protective service worker in a rural area of the south I soon realized that working in the field of social work provided me with lots of opportunities to make a difference to individuals and families as well as to communities and organizations. I never left the field and each year become more certain that I made the right choice.


Recent Presentations

Wood, Z.B. (2012) Public child welfare adoption: The adoptive parent and adolescent adoptee perception of adoption outcomes. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation. Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University.

Wood, Zoe (March, 2011) Child Abuse & Neglect: Intake, Assessment, Planning & Intervention, Holt International, Zacapa, Guatemala.

Wood, Zoe (May, 2010) Post Graduate Adoption Certificate Program – Three days of training for masters’ level clinicians in issues related to adoption mental health. Planned and delivered for Berea Children’s Home May-July 2010 and December 2010-Februrary 2011 & for Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau September – November 2010.

Social Worker Know Thyself: Using Myers Briggs Type in Field Education – delivered multiple times per year for all incoming MSASS students from 2005 through 2010.

Utilizing Myers Briggs Type in Supervision – delivered yearly for MSASS Field Instructors from 2005-2010.

Leadership Institute – Six days of training and consultation utilizing Myers Briggs Type Indicator for Catholic Charities USA delivered yearly 1995-2011.

Developing a Continuum of Care in Child Welfare – Five days of training for Family Health International – Addis Abbaba Ethiopia May 2010.

Child Abuse – Assessment and Intervention– One day of training for Holt International – Antigua Guatemala March 2009.

Ethical Issues in Child Welfare – One day of training for Holt International – Antigua Guatemala March 2009.

Understanding & Working with Neglecting Families – University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, January 17-18, 2008 & May 29-30, 2008.

Openness in Adoption – Adoption Network Cleveland June 17-18, 2008; Summit County Children’s Services October 25-26, 2007.

Preparing for Permanency – Summit County Children’s Services Board June 9, 2008.

Services to Families Post Finalization – Adoption Network Cleveland August 2007; March 2008.

Assessment & Treatment Approaches for Adoptive Families: Toward Empirically Based Practice – Cleveland OH June 1, 2007.

Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption Cleveland OH 2007.

Assessment and Treatment Approaches for Adoptive Families: Toward Empirically Based Practice – Cleveland OH 2007.

Key Issues in Adoption for Mental Health Practitioners
Project Director
Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners
2007 – 2008

Geriatric Practicum Partnership Programs
MSASS Project Director
New York Academy of Medicine
2007 – 2008

Zoe Breen Wood in the News:

Study Abroad in Nicaragua in June: Child Development and Welfare

Mar 3 2017

The Mandel School has just announced a new short-term Study Abroad course, Child Development/Child Welfare in Nicaragua (SASS 375J/575), on June 1-30.

Open to all Case Western Reserve undergraduates and graduate students, it offers unique international service learning placements, direct engagement with Nicaraguans, and immersive Spanish language instruction during the month of June. It is based in Granada, Nicaragua, a 500-year-old city frequently on “must-visit” travel lists.

The course provides 3 credits for the 4-week option (or 6 credits for the 6-week option, with extended field placement). It is taught by Professor Victor Groza and Assistant Professor Zoe Breen Wood, who also lead a popular short-term study abroad course to Guatemala during spring break. Students will receive substantive study in either child development and health OR child welfare, depending on their area of interest.

To learn more about the Nicaragua course and how to apply, attend a drop-in information session on March 21, at 1:00 p.m. at the Mandel School Noble Commons or contact Valerie Rambin, Mandel School Study Abroad Program Manager, at

The deadline to apply has been extended to April 1, 2017. Apply here:

Donated Items Requested for Guatemala Study Abroad Trip

Feb 13 2017

The Study Abroad course to Guatemala over Spring Break, led by faculty members Victor Groza and Zoe Breen Wood, accepts and distributes donated items to several charitable organizations in Guatemala — which they and the students personally transport in their luggage. These donations are always greatly appreciated and received quite warmly. Please consider donating any or several of the following list of supplies. You may leave your donation at the Mandel School to the attention of either Victor or Zoe through Friday, February 17. The Guatemala course thanks you in advance for your generosity!

  • Crayons
  • Scissors of all sizes
  • Staples and staplers all sizes
  • Erasers
  • Pencils and pencil sharpeners
  • Pens
  • Coloring pencils
  • Paints (can be dry which you add water to)
  • Connect 4, Ludo, brain teaser type games (no language)
  • Coloring books, sudoku, activity books
  • ESL/EFL resources for teens and adults (Los Patojos)
  • Used laptops/tablets
  • First Aid supplies
  • Children’s clothing, baseball caps, sporting goods (soccer/football, basketball, toys for disabled children of all ages/teens)

Join Us and Our Presenters at CSWE 2016 APM

Oct 28 2016

cswe-2016-name-snipThere are a variety of ways you can join the Mandel School at the Council on Social Work Education 61st Annual Program Meeting (#APM16), the premiere conference for social work educators and professionals on November 3-6, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.

+ Visit us at booth #504. We have special Centennial gift for attendees, copies of our just-released 2015-2016 Research Annual Report, and lots of great information for our alumni, colleagues, and prospective students.

+ Join us at a private reception for Mandel School alumni, faculty and students to celebrate our Centennial and another record year of research. It is on Friday, November 4, at 5pm at Cuts Steakhouse. Click here for complete details and to RSVP.

+ Join Dr. Terry Hokenstad, Distinguished University Professor and the Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor, at the 10th Annual Hokenstad International Lecture on Saturday, November 5, at 8:45 a.m. in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel Ballroom Salon B. Darja Zaviršek of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia was selected as the lecturer and she will present “The Humanitarian Crisis of Migration: Current Dimensions and Challenges for Social Work Practice.”

+ Three Mandel School faculty members are being recognized and honored as mentors through the CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education Mentor Recognition Program, which honors mentors who have made a difference. They will be acknowledged at the Networking Breakfast on Saturday, November 5, and on the CSWE website. They are:

+ Presentations at CSWE 2016 APM by Mandel School faculty, students, and research staff:

  • Collins, C. C., Bai, R. & Crampton, D. Evaluating the implementation of Partnering for Family Success. Interactive poster.
  • Healy, L., & Hokenstad, M.C. et al. Promoting and teaching the 2030 agenda and sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Invited partnership presentation.
  • Hokenstad, M.C. et al. Realizing the Vision of the Kendall Institute Through International Education Collaborations. Invited partnership presentation.
  • Holmes, M. R. The Flipped Classroom: Promoting engaged learning in direct practice methods. Oral paper presentation.
  • Hoy, J., Vincent, A., Buck, W.P., & Strand, E. Humans and animals: An emerging and promising collaborative practice. Interactive workshop.
  • Kobulsky, J., Holmes, M.R., & Yoon, S. Physical abuse safety concerns and substance use among child welfare adolescents. Oral paper presentation.
  • Kobulsky, J.M. Internalizing pathways to early substance use in child welfare-involved youthOral paper presentation.
  • Lee, E., & Santiago, A. M. The effects of cumulative risk and protective factors on adolescent substance use. Oral paper presentation.
  • Riley-Behringer, M., & Cage, J. Building Students’ Duty-to-Warn/Duty-to-Protect Skills Through Case Study and Team Collaboration. Interactive workshop.
  • Sawyer, L.N. Enhancing student soft-skill development in online education course rooms and communities. Interactive workshop.
  • Wood, Z.B. & Edguer, M.  Triangulating the Assessment of Holistic Social Work Competence: Challenges and Opportunities. Invited Roundtable, CSWE Assessment Institute.