Dr Rika Swanzen is the Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social and Health Sciences and she is the course coordinator for the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care degree. Dr Swanzen has been developing and teaching in the field of Child and Youth Care since 2009. Prior to moving into academia, she worked in child and family welfare, adolescent mental health, community development, residential care, foster care training and practice model development.
During her working career she obtained her Masters degree – cum laude – and completed her doctoral study by the age of 31. The outcome of her doctoral study was the ChildPIE©; a classification system for describing childhood social functioning problems. Since her studies she also served as the Project Manager on national and provincial level research projects. The focus of the studies was supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in communities and the effectiveness of diversion programmes for youth in conflict of the law respectively.
Dr Swanzen held the position of Adjunct Associate Professor with the Caulfield campus of Monash University from 2015. She has twenty years’ experience in the child and youth care and social development sectors. In 2016 she was appointed by the Minister of Social Development as Council Member, on a 5-year term, to represent education and training on the South African Council for Social Service Professions.