Jessica E. Toft, MSW, PhD, LISW portrait

Jessica E. Toft, MSW, PhD, LISW

Associate Professor
BA, Grinnell College
MSW, University of Iowa
PhD, University of Minnesota
306 Summit Classroom Building - UST
(651) 962-5803
SCB 201
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave,
St. Paul, MN 55105

I am passionate about infusing democratic tenets into a model of Citizenship Social Work. I believe this perspective of social justice leverages nation-wide beliefs about the rights and obligations of citizenship to justify fair treatment in policies and society. I also attend to the public and political narratives about disenfranchised groups as a powerful force that needs to be counteracted with awareness, research, and action. I am dedicated to helping social work become an integrated and reflective profession, wherein social workers in all settings continuously ask: What larger influences are at play and how can I help address them?

Expertise / Research Interests

  • Citizenship Social Work as a fundamental social work model
  • Emancipatory potential of Citizenship Social Work for particular disenfranchised groups 
  • Discourse analysis of public and political narratives of disenfranchised groups
  • Social work education as it relates to students' perspectives on the poor and poverty
  • Effects of Welfare Reform (TANF) on marginalized groups

Selected Publications & Presentations

Toft, J. (October, 2014). Social work’s democratic concern: Alexander’s New Jim Crow. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Tampa Bay, Florida.

Toft, J., & Bibus, A. A.  (2014). Citizen-centered administration for child welfare.  In C. S. Ramanathan & S. Dutta (Eds.), Governance, development and social work (pp. 46-77). New York:  Taylor & Francis/Routledge. 

Toft, J. & Hollister, D. Martin, M. (2013). The influence of paid work, racial-ethnicity, and immigrant status on health care coverage after Welfare Reform in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Journal of Social Work in Public Health 28(2), 67-80.

Toft, J. (2011). Citizenship as a foundation for social work practice.  Council on Social Work Education Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Toft, J. (2010). The political act of public talk: How legislators justified welfare reform. Social Service Review, 84 (4), 563 - 596.

See curriculum vitae for full listing of publications, presentations, practice experience, and professional engagement

Summer 2018 Courses

Summer 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location