Susan Livingston Smith, LCSW, MSSW, ACSW

Susan has been a leading researcher in the field of post-adoption services for the past 25 years. She is a Professor Emerita of the School of Social Work at Illinois State University, where she co-directed the Center for Adoption Studies. She worked as Program Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute for 10 years; today, in addition to working with NCAP, she is consulting on two federally funded grant projects.

Smith and her longtime research partner, Jeanne Howard (also a member of NCAP), received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for applied scholarship and research. Susan has co-authored four books: Promoting Successful Adoptions: Practice with Troubled Families (1999); After Adoption: The Needs of Adopted Youth (2003); Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care (2008) and Facilitating Adoptions from Care (2014), as well as numerous journal articles, book chapters and scholarly monographs.

Throughout her career, Susan has translated research on adoption and foster care for use by social workers, psychologists and other professionals. At DAI, she worked on 11 widely publicized studies and policy papers that have increased public understanding and improved policy and practice. Susan also directed a national initiative to promote the development of adoption support and preservation (ASAP) services. In addition to her research, Smith has authored curricula and provided training to child welfare and adoption workers, judges and mental health professionals across the country. 

Consulting Areas

Susan is available to provide consultation and research relating to many areas of adoption, particularly support and preservation services.