Kim Boland-Prom, Ph.D., MSW, MA, LCSW

  Full Professor
  708-235-3976ext. 3976
  Office Location: G 115
  Office Hours: By appointment only.
  College: CHHS

Social Work



"Teaching social work at Governors State University is a special, exciting privilege. As a professor, I have the opportunity to teach a range of students — from individuals new to social work, to experienced professionals who are returning to school to continue their education. The cooperative classroom learning environment allows each student to help focus and add to the discussions in the class and online. In addition to teaching, I enjoy the advising relationships I develop with my students as they plan their education, select their field experience in agencies and focus their career plans.

I enjoy teaching in the social work practice classes (how to engage and work with clients with a variety of problems) and the human behavior sequence (development throughout the life span). My previous professional experience included working in community mental health (counselor) and various jobs in the criminal justice system (with victims, offenders, and prisoners). Prior to coming to GSU in 2006. I worked as an administrator for Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Social Work where I also taught.

I currently have two areas of research interests. I am interested in the unprofessional and unethical conduct of professionals and the risk of harm to their clients. My research results have informed my teaching; my students appreciate exploring the risks for complaints and sanctions in the profession. I have been fortunate to receive two national grants from the Association of Social Work Boards (the national licensing association for social workers). Secondly, I am interested in exploring how mental health problems such as depression impact individuals and families. For example, one of my published articles looks at the connection between postpartum depression and child development risk factors.

I am interested in learning more about the ethical dilemmas and challenges that social workers face. Information about social workers who have been sanctioned by state regulatory boards helps to identify ethical dilemmas and challenges so that professors, social workers and supervisors can better prepare social work practitioners.

I received two grants from the American Foundation for Research and Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation, Inc., a foundation of the Association of Social Work Boards. The most recent award (2014-2016) will include two research studies on licensing boards. Dr. Carlean Gilbert of Loyola will lead a qualitative research study of problems and challenges identified by licensing board members from various state regulatory boards.  I will conduct research on the attitudes of social workers toward their state licensing boards. 

The first grant I received (2009-2011) funded three studies on social workers: 

Social Workers Sanctioned by State Regulatory Boards

This research study identified the behavior of social workers that has resulted in sanctions from state regulatory boards from 2000-2009.  This builds on an earlier study published in the October issue of the journal Social Work from the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Press (Boland-Prom, 2009).  Results from the current study added to our understanding of regulatory boards’ practices related to protecting the public and identifying challenges in social work practice.  The results are included in a report on the grant and two national presentations. 

Report of results from the grant funded research were presented at two national conferences:

  • Boland-Prom, K. (2012, April 29) Posting Information Online About Sanctioned Social Workers: Empowerment, Public Protection, and Professional Development, Association of Social Work Boards, Annual Meeting, Invited speaker, Association of Social Work Boards, Spring Education Meeting, Lexington, Kentucky.  
  • Boland-Prom, K.  (2012, November) National Study of Social Workers Sanctioned by State Licensing Boards, Council on Social Work Education. Annual Program Meeting, Washington, D.C. *


This research identified how state boards of education handle complaints against social workers who are employed in the kindergarten through high schools (K-12); and, what types of complaints are made against school based social workers.  The results from this study have been published (Boland-Prom & Alverez) in a peer reviewed journal Children & Schools from NASW Press.   

I approach teaching cognizant that students have a variety of learning styles. This awareness guides the delivery of lectures and the organization of class discussions, role-plays and other activities. The diversity of student styles and abilities requires that I monitor and be available to facilitate students demonstrating their knowledge in discussions and activities, as well as papers. 

The teaching metaphor that I embrace is being a mentor artist to students as we explore social work subjects. Within this metaphor framework, I see each social work class period as a canvas or art medium which can evolve into a complex multi-dimensional work. Depending on the level of student engagement, the actual class experience (the final result) is expanded from my class agenda to a collaborative learning environment with students' questions, cases and personal expertise.

When I have effectively engaged the students by sparking their imaginations and eliciting their participation, our class experience has a translucent complexity that reflects both cooperative creativity and analytical thinking.  This description of my teaching philosophy captures both my analytical style of organizing and presenting curriculum and my creative approach to teaching in a classroom. It is a privilege to be a GSU professor who is involved in educating social workers.   

In the past few years, my service in the community has included a committee of dedicated school district professionals (superintendent, principals, social workers and counselors).  The committee methodically conducted research efforts to identify the problems that teachers and students experienced.  The committee has been able to change policies and procedures, select and implement an anti-bullying campaign, and improve education and prevention efforts for teen depression and suicide.

In the social work profession, I volunteer for the National Association of Social Workers Press as a reviewer for articles and book proposals. I am interested in consulting with community organizations through research efforts or service delivery. If I can be of help, please contact me to discuss your agency’s needs. It may be that I or my students can help in your efforts."

- Kim Boland-Prom, Ph.D., MSW, MA, LCSW

Link to Kim Boland-Prom CV



Boland-Prom, K., Johnson, J. & Gunaganti, G.S.  (in progress) Sanction patterns of social work licensing boards.   

Boland-Prom, K., & Alvarez, M.E., (under review) Ethical challenges in school social work: A qualitative study.   

Boland-Prom, K., & Alvarez, M. E., (in press) School social workers sanctioned by state Departments of Education and Licensing Boards. Children and Schools.

Boland-Prom, K. (2013) Sanctioned social workers: Research from regulatory boards and ethics committees. Offered online by Pearson Allyn & Bacon.    

Boland-Prom, K. & MacMullen, N. (2012) Postpartum depression within a social work paradigm.   Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 22 (6), 718-732.  DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2012.692563    

Boland-Prom, K. (2011) Sanctioned Social Workers: Research Results from Three Studies. Executive Summary Report for the American Foundation for Research & Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation.      

Boland-Prom, K. (2009) Results from a national study of state licensing board actions against social workers.  Social Work, 54 (4),351-360.

Bye, L., Boland-Prom, K., Tsybikdorzhieva, B., Boldonova, I. (2006). Utilizingitechnology to infuse international content into social work curriculum: A Siberian Correspondent Model. Journal of Teaching in Social Work. 26, 3/4, 41-55.    

Boland-Prom, K. and Anderson, S. (2005). Teaching ethical decision-making utilizing dual relationship principles as a case example.  Journal of Social Work Education, 41(3), 495-510.    

Boland-Prom, K. (2004) Control and social support variables during pregnancy and the development of depressive symptoms during the postpartum period.  (Doctoral dissertation, Portland State University, 2004).    

Boland‑Prom, K. and Winter, C. (1993). Recidivism Study: Preliminary Results. Diversion Program Analysis. WA: Clark County Prosecuting Attorney.