Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Jonathan B. Singer, Ph.D., LCSW

Title/s:  Professor
Founder & Host of The Social Work Podcast

Specialty Area: Suicide Intervention, Cyberbullying, Family-based Interventions, Community Services, School Social Work, Technology, and Podcasts

Office #:  Maguire Hall 503

Phone: 312.915.7555

Email: jsinger1@luc.edu

CV Link: Jonathan Singer CV


Jonathan B. Singer graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with his MSW in 1996. From 1996 to 2004 he worked as a bilingual (English - Spanish) social worker in community mental health. His experience included working on a mobile crisis intervention unit for suicidal, homicidal and actively psychotic youth; providing home-based individual and family therapy; facilitating experiential outdoor therapy groups for youth with externalizing disorders; running process-oriented parenting groups for parents trying to reunify with their child(ren) after removal for abuse and/or neglect; and being the founding director of an early childhood development center where parents and children ages 0 - 3 could participate in unstructured play, socializing, networking, and obtain training in infant/community CPR, baby massage, and baby sign language. The tragedies on 9/11/2001 inspired Jonathan and a colleague to develop a graduate-level crisis intervention elective. In 2004, after a two-year stint as an adjunct instructor at the UT-Austin school of social work, Jonathan entered the doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh's school of social work. His dissertation was a qualitative analysis of interviews with parents who brought their children to mental health services, Mothers seeking mental health services for their children: A qualitative analysis of pathways to care.
In 2008 Dr. Singer joined the social work faculty at Temple University where he taught basic practice skills and human behavior in the social environment in the BSW program, and emotional disorders of children and adolescents, and advanced clinical practice (individual, couple, family, and group therapy) in the MSW program. Between 2012 and 2015, Dr. Singer was a family therapist on a federally funded clinical trial for suicidal youth comparing Attachment-Based Family Therapy with a Family Enhanced Non-directive Supportive Therapy (Guy Diamond, PI). Dr. Singer joined the social work faculty at Loyola University Chicago an associate professor in 2015. He is the chair of the National Association of Social Worker's Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult specialty practice committee, and the chair of the Council on Social Work Education's Council on Publications. 
Dr. Singer has had a long-standing interest in the role of technology in social work practice. In the late 1990s Dr. Singer developed and piloted the first electronic medical record for Austin-Travis County MHMR (now Austin Travis County Integral Care) and designed and developed the first websites for several social service organizations in Austin, TX including the Austin-Child Guidance Center, Texans Care for Children, and the Texas Kids Count Project. In 2007 he started the Social Work Podcast as a way of disseminating high quality information to students and practitioners. Episodes of the podcast have been downloaded over two million times by 1 million people in 181 countries and territories. The podcast won the first NASW Media Award for Best Website in 2012. In 2013 he founded the Google Plus community, Social Work and Technology. In 2015 he co-authored along with Stephanie Berzin from Boston College and Chitat Chan from Hong Kong Polytechnic University the white paper, Practice Innovations Through Technology in the Digital Age: A Grand Challenge for Social Work.

Dr. Singer is the author of over 65 publications, including the 2015 book Suicide in Schools: A practitioner’s guide to multilevel prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention. He is a two-time winner of the National Association of Social Workers Media Award (2012 and 2016). He was a 2014 Visiting Scholar at Fordham University, the 2017 Lucille N. Austin Scholar at Columbia University, and the 2018 Distinguished Lecturer at Weber State University. Dr. Singer is a well-regarded international speaker who has given hundreds of continuing education workshops, keynote addresses, and presentations on youth suicide, ethics, technology, adolescent development and attachment-based family therapy in the USA, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of over 65 publications and his research has been featured in national and international media outlets like NPR, BBC, Fox, Time Magazine, and The Guardian. His co-authored article with Arielle Sheftall and John Ackerman about the news media's reporting on the suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain won the prestigious 2019 SDX prize for research on journalism. He is an NASW Expert, Healio Psychiatry Peer Perspective Board member, and on several national youth advisory boards including Sandy Hook Promise and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Dr. Singer is the founder and host of the award-winning Social Work Podcast (www.socialworkpodcast.com), the first podcast by and for social workers. The Social Work Podcast has over 40,000 followers on social media, listeners in 208 countries and territories, and a million podcast episode downloads per year. He lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and three children and can be found on Twitter as @socworkpodcast and Facebook at facebook.com/swpodcast.

Research Interests

  • Family-based interventions for suicidal and cyberbullied youth
  • Service access and service utilization
  • School-based responses to youth suicide
  • Use of technology in education and clinical practice.
Dr. Singer is interested in the interpersonal mechanisms that protect against or contribute to youth suicidal risk within families; how and why parents access services for their suicidal children; how to improve school responsiveness to youth suicide crises; and how technologies such as podcasts and social media sites can be used to disseminate information about prevention and intervention of youth suicidal behaviors, cyberbullying, and social work education and training.

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

  • SOWK 500      Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
  • SOWK 501      Human Behavior in the Social Environment II
  • SOWK 617      Principles and Interventions in Clinical Social Work
  • SOWK 615      Social Work with Adolescents
  • SOWK 813      Doctoral Seminar on Practice Evaluation