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Our Researchers

Rika Swanzen

Associate Professor and Course Coordinator: Child and Youth Development, Monash South Africa

Email: Rika.Swanzen@monash.edu

Tel: +27 11 950 4279

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, School of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, Caulfield, Monash University

Social Science, Office C.2.26

  • B.A. Soc Sc (Social Work) – University of Johannesburg (RAU)
  • M.A. Soc Sc (Clinical Social Work) – University of Jhb – cum laude
  • D. Litt et Phil (Social Work) – University of Johannesburg
Teaching Commitments
  • AZA 2763: Child and Youth Assessment
  • AZA 2765: Child and Youth Intervention
  • AZA 3772: Field placements in child and youth care
  • AZA 3744: School of Social Sciences Workplace Internship
  • 2015 Monash South Africa Community Engagement Award
  • 2013 Monash Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Commendation for excellent results in unit evaluations, Purple Award for Field Placements in Child and Youth Care settings
  • 2012 Recipient of the Most Engaged Staff Member, School of Social Sciences by the Community Engagement Office of Monash South Africa
  • 2011 Winner of the Monash South Africa PVC Award for Distinguished Teaching.
  • Recipient of a prize for outstanding academic achievement by the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Johannesburg
  • Accepted as part of the Network of Excellence for Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences: Sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative is funded by the EU’s EDULINK program and coordinated by The Forced Migration Studies Programme (FMSP) at WITS University and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex in 2009.
  • Invited on various radio programmes to talk about issues related to children
Research Interests

Dr Swanzen’s interest in research involves the development and standardization of measurement scales within the Social Sciences and specifically Ecometric measurement scales. She utilizes mixed methodology, intervention and applied research methods. Of particular interest are research topics related to the optimal developmental and social functioning of children as well as risk and protective factors in childhood development. Most recently her research involves the implementation of service-learning in Higher Education.

Peer-reviewed Publications
  • Swanzen, R, and Louw, M. (2015) Media portrayal of orphaned and vulnerable children in the context of South African welfare policies, in Developing practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal(themed issue on The Media and Child Welfare), 43: . ISSN: 1445-6818
  • Swanzen, R. and Stay, B. (2015) Logotherapeutic transitions in Child and Youth Care, Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, 28 (1): 26-34, ISSN: 2410-2954 (electronic)
  • Swanzen, R. and Jadrijevic, T.I. (2014) The Child and Youth Care Worker’s role in the health and safety of children, African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance (AJPHERD)Supplement 1: 131-140, ISSN: 11174315 (print)
  • Harris, T. and Swanzen, R. (2014) The Quasi-Coercive Treatment of Young Drug Offenders in South Africa: The Role of the Family, Journal of Community Positive Practices, 14 (2): 11-27. ISSN 1582-8344 (print) 2247-6571 (electronic).http://www.jppc.ro/reviste/JCPP%20Nr.%202%202014/articole/art02.pdf
  • Swanzen, R. and Rowe, C.D. (2013). Community engagement as a form of social entrepreneurship in higher education curriculum, Journal of Community Positive Practices, 13 (4): 55-70. ISSN 1582-8344 (print) 2247-6571 (electronic). http://www.jppc.ro/reviste/JCPP%20Nr.%204%202013/articole/art04.pdf
  • Swanzen, R. and Marincowitz, L. (2013) Mimetic Theory and the Use of Daily Life events, Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, 26 (2): 57-63
  • Swanzen, R. and Harris, T. (2012) Restorative Juvenile Justice in South Africa, The Social Work Review/ Revista de Asistenta  Social, anul XI, nr. 3/2012, pp. 5-23
  • Swanzen, R. (2011) Relational child and youth care involves emotional intelligence IN Relational Child and Youth Care Practice 24 (1 & 2): 72-81, ISSN: 1705625X
  • Swanzen, R. (2011) The adoption of the ChildPIE© classification system in social service practice IN:The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 23 (2): 243-261, ISSN: 1011-2324
  • Swanzen, R (2011) The co-existence of the social work and child and youth care professionsIN: The Social Work Review / Revista de AsistentaSociala, anul X, nr. 2: 19-38, ISSN: 1583-0608
  • Jonker, G.J. and Swanzen, R. (2007) Intermediary services for child witnesses testifying in South African criminal courts IN SUR International Journal on human rights 4 (6) 91-114, ISSN: 1806-6445 (digital format on www.surjournal.org)
Books and Chapters in Books
  • Swanzen, R. and Graham, V. L. (2016) Facilitating Active Citizenship in Students through the Strengthening of University-Community Partnerships, in Katia González and Rhoda Frumkin (Eds),Handbook of Research on Effective Communication in Culturally Diverse Classrooms, IGI Global book series Advances in Higher Education and Professional Development. (pp 284-312) ISBN: 978-1-4666-9953-3, eISBN: 978-1-4666-9954-0
  • Swanzen, R (2015) Enabling the Adoption of Service-Learning in the Higher Education Curriculum, in Phylis Lan Lin, Mark R. Wiegand, & Antoinette R. Smith-Tolken (Editors). Service-Learning in Higher Education: Building Community Across the Globe, Indianapolis: University of Indianapolis Press. (pp 177-192) ISBN: 978-1-880938-85-0
  • Jonker, G. J. and Swanzen, R. (2009), Intermediary Services for Child Witnesses Testifying in South African Criminal Courts IN: Gayathri, V.V.L. (Ed), Child Witness: Legal Wrangles, India: The Icfai University Press. ISBN:978-81-314-2516-9
Full conference proceedings
  • Swanzen, R. (2013) Elements needed for service-learning in an international higher education institution, in Smith-Tolken, A. and Du Plessis, J. (Editors) 2013, Paper Series 5th International Symposium: Service-Learning across the globe: From local to transnational, by the Division for Community Interaction, Stellenbosch University, pp. 9-19, ISBN: 978-0-620-59299-4
Research reports
  • Project Manager for a study by Afri.yze for the Department of Social Development on services to youth in conflict with the law (focus group interviews and youth surveys). The study identified gaps in service delivery to inform policy making and was conducted across Gauteng.
  • Main researcher for HoJalaPeo’s research project aimed to establish support around orphaned and vulnerable children (situational analysis and community audit). It included the design of various fieldwork tools and the study contributed to a referral database for needed services. The study was conducted in informal settlements in two predetermined areas in Gauteng.
International Conference Presentations
  • 2015, 6th International Symposium on Service-Learning (ISSL), Service-Learning as a Global movement: Transforming Communities & Higher Education, Indianapolis. Titled: Facilitating active citizenship in students through the strengthening of community-university partnerships (with Vicky Graham)
  • 2014, Annual (8th) Conference of The International Society for Cultural History (ISCH): Cultures of Damaged Societies: from Post-Conflict Resolution to Intercultural Dialogue at Monash South Africa, Title of paper: Journeying through connection, restoration and youth drug offences: A discussion on the role of family in quasi-coercive treatment (with Tara Harris)
  • 2014, Ignite Conference: Using strength based interventions to explore outcomes that matter in Sydney, Australia, Title of paper: Explaining social functioning challenges with the ChildPIE© practitioner tool
  • 2013, 5th International Symposium Service-Learning (SL): Service-Learning across the globe: From local to transnational in Stellenbosch South Africa, Title of paper: Elements needed for the implementation of SL in an International Higher Education Institution
  • 2013, Child & Youth Care World Conference: Connecting at the Crossroads in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, Title of Workshop: The application of the ChildPIE© classification system in Child and Youth Care practice
  • 2012, The International Child and Youth Care(CYC-Net) Conference: Innovations and Inspirations in Child and Youth Care in Paisley, Scotland, Title of Paper: Relational Child and Youth Care involves Emotional Intelligence
  • 2010, ASASWEI TLC Social work educators and Practitioners: partners in teaching and learning, Cape Town, S.A., Title of paper: Can a social services fracas be prevented in South Africa?
  • 2010, 31st FICE International Congress, Title of paper: The Social Service Profession Puzzle: Can and Should Our Services Be Measured?
  • 2009, 9th Triennial International Child and Youth Care Conference in Florida, USA, Title of paper:Utilizing a user-friendly child temperament sorter to address parenting and discipline concerns (with Hettie Brittz)
  • 2009, 9th Triennial International Child and Youth Care Conference in Florida, USA, Title of paper:Mobilizing church teams to meet the need of orphaned and vulnerable children (with Tracey Webster)
  • 2008, IASSW International 34th Global Social work Congress in Durban, South Africa, Title of paper:Introducing a Practice Model in Child Welfare for delivering goal-directed, measurable services towards the enhancement of person- in-environment fit
  • 2006, ASASSWEI conference – Crisis in Welfare in Venda, Africa, Title of paper: The ChildPIE©: an innovative and comprehensive tool for the assessment of children (with Wim Roestenburg)
National Conference Presentations
  • 2015, NACCW 20th Biennial Conference –  Celebrating 40 years of Child and Youth Care Work, Cape Town. Titled: Reflecting on a Child and Youth Care Degree Programme for the Purpose of the Professional Registration of Graduates.
  • 2012, ASSWA: Social work: towards inclusion, social justice and human rights in White River, Mpumalanga. Titled of paper: Designing Curriculum for Service Learning Within a Community Engagement Framework, co-presented with Lizane Wilson (North-west university)
  • 2011, SAHECEF Inaugural Conference – Community Engagement: The Changing Role of South African Universities in Development in East London, South Africa, Title of Paper: A research initiative in service learning, internationalisation and curriculum development
  • 2009, NACCW 17th Biennial Conference – Complementary Social Service Professions Integrating to serve children in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Title of paper: The use of a unifying system for classifying the social functioning problems of children.
  • 2009, NACCW 17th Biennial Conference – Complementary Social Service Professions Integrating to serve children in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Title of paper: Utilizing a user-friendly child temperament sorter to address parenting and discipline concerns (with Hettie Brittz).
Supervision Accreditation
  • Certified Higher Degrees by Research Supervisor, Monash University Supervision Accreditation Levels 1 and 2.
Completed Postgraduate Supervision
  • MPhil (Psychology). Monash South Africa. ‘The Role of the Parent-Child Relationship in the development of Individuals’ Capacity for Intimacy and Quality of their Romantic Relationships in Early Adulthood’ by Dionne Morris. [Completed with distinction 2014, main supervisor].
Other Professional Activities
  • Peer reviewer for The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher Journal (ISSN: 1011-2324) 2007-2015
  • Served on the governing body of a primary school in the community surrounding MSA –2009-2015
  • Invited member on the Board of Reference for The Bethany House Trust since 2010
  • Acting on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Journal of International Research in Early Childhood Education (IRECE) since 2010
  • Advisory Board member for the Child and Youth Care Programme at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) since 2011
  • International Advisory Board Member for the World Child and Youth Care Conference, in New Foundland, Canada in 2013
  • Research Committee member for the advocacy strategy by A Chance to play Southern Africa (ACTP-SA) and UNICEF since 2014
  • Working committee member for the professionalization of youth work and establishment of a National Association of Youth Workers by The Youth Desk of the Presidency from 2014
  • Contracted member of the Ecometrics committee for the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) from 2014
  • Editor of the journal of Relational Child & Youth Care Practice (ISSN: 2410-2954) from volume 28 (2015)
  • Elected chair on the governing body of a secondary school from 2015
  • Member of the National Association for Child Care Workers (NACCW)
  • Registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP)
  • Appointed by the Minister of Social Development to the SACSSP to represent Training institutions, 2016-2021
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