Associate Professor of Social Work
Office: Boston Campus, Activities West 305F
M.S.W., Washington University
Ph.D. (Human Development and Family Studies), University of Connecticut,
Lenette Azzi-Lessing, LICSW, PhD, joined the Wheelock faculty in 2006, after nearly 30 years as a clinical social worker, administrator and policy advocate. Her work focuses on improving the well being and life chances of vulnerable, young children and their families, particularly those living in poverty and those involved in the child welfare system.
In 1989, Dr. Azzi-Lessing founded the Rhode Island Center for Children At-Risk to attract resources and attention toward meeting the needs of these highly vulnerable children and families. The Center eventually merged with Children's Friend & Service, one of the oldest child-serving organizations in the United States. As Executive Director of the integrated organization, Children's Friend, she developed a number of nationally recognized programs serving young children and families in Rhode Island's poorest communities.
Dr. Azzi-Lessing is co-chair of the Child Welfare League of America's National Committee on Prevention, Protection, and Family Preservation and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for In-home Services for Children and Families. She is a member and past chair of the board of directors of The Economic Progress Institute, which advocates on behalf of low and middle-income Rhode Islanders. She provides consultation and training to child-serving professionals and organizations throughout the United States.
Dr. Azzi-Lessing teaches a number of courses in the Masters of Social Work program, including Social Policy Practice, Social Work Practice with Children and Their Families, and Social Work Leadership and Administration. She is currently developing a course in Early Childhood Mental Health and a service-learning course in South Africa.Recent publications
Azzi-Lessing, L. (2011). Home visitation programs: Critical Issues and future directions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 387-398.
Azzi-Lessing, L. (2010). Growing together: Expanding roles for social work practice in early childhood settings. Social Work, 55(2).
Azzi-Lessing, L. (2010) Meeting the mental health needs of poor and vulnerable children in early care and education settings. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 12(1).
Azzi-Lessing, L. (2009) Quality support infrastructure in early childhood: Still (mostly) missing. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 11(1).