Ingrid Brown is the new director of Field Education at the School of Social Work. She has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a concentration in organizational administration and a Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois with a specialization in child welfare and an emphasis in program planning and administration.

Brown began her career at Catholic Charities (now known as the Center for Youth & Family Solutions) in Danville, as a foster care case manager. She became a supervisor of foster care soon after obtaining her MSW. After a move to Chicago, she worked at Children’s Home & Aid as an adoption specialist doing foster care case management, foster home licensing, and foster care and international adoptions. During her 10 years in Children’s Home & Aid’s Metropolitan Region, she was also an adult transition specialist, supporting youth in care as they prepared for emancipation from foster care; supervisor of foster care and adoption; and ultimately, program manager of specialty foster care, overseeing teams providing traditional and specialized foster care case management, as well as intact family services and foster care permanency work (adoption and subsidized guardianship).

After transferring to Children’s Home & Aid’s Central Region in 2018 and a move to Bloomington, she became the agency’s local director of child welfare. After the regional child welfare program closed, Brown transitioned to working in early childhood home visiting, overseeing home visiting teams in Bloomington and DeKalb. She has supervised many interns during her time in the field and taught Advanced Child Welfare Practice at the University of Illinois Chicago as an adjunct instructor. Let’s get to know her.

Why social work?

I grew up in the small town of Hoopeston and saw how compassionately my parents interacted with the people they encountered in their respective jobs, which made a lasting impression on me. I and my younger brother were adopted by their parents when we were infants (read about her story at the Children’s Home & Aid website: “Connecting Children with Loving Families – Ingrid’s Story“). My experience ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in supporting the safety and well-being of children. Throughout college, I had the opportunity to volunteer with different agencies and discovered a knack for being involved in the community. When I started working, I quickly became passionate about serving others, linking them with resources and meeting their overall needs.

What do you hope to accomplish as the new director of Field Education?

I am eager to further advocacy efforts towards identifying and securing paid internship opportunities for Social Work students. I really look forward to getting to know the School of Social Work students, faculty/staff and agency partners—and connecting everything (and everyone!) together.

Anything else about you?

I am married to Justin, a fellow LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) in the community. We have two sons, Augie (6) and Ambrose (3), and a dog (Blue Heeler mix), named Bindi. I enjoy being outside, listening to live music, running, and spending time with my family and friends