Silk Begins as Director of the Grand Challenges for Social Work at the School of Social Work

Kira Silk, MSW, is the new Director of the Grand Challenges for Social Work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. After earning her MSW, she was awarded a Stoneleigh Foundation Emerging Leader Fellowship to assess resource parent satisfaction and develop and implement a program to improve resource parent retention in Philadelphia. She then joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group, where she supported child welfare reform in state and county jurisdictions around the country.

Kira’s abiding interest in child welfare services developed through her work after college with adolescent girls in a residential treatment center in Baltimore and later, during her MSW program, as a case manager for children and families involved with the child welfare system in Philadelphia.

Kira is also committed to reaching beyond our conventional service designs and boundaries. This interest has taken Kira to South Africa, where she volunteered at an orphanage; Ecuador, where she worked with street children in an informal school that prepared the children to enter standard schools; and Ghana, where she worked on a project to stop child labor in local fishing communities. Her boundary spanning tendencies will serve her well in her role with the Grand Challenges for Social Work.

Kira holds a B.A. in psychology from Goucher College. She received her MSW, with a Graduate Certificate in Global Human Rights, from the University of Pennsylvania. She can be welcomed to her new position at


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