Assistant Professor
+962 6 4294444 Ext. 4708

Dr. Rawan W. Ibrahim is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work in the German Jordanian University. Her specialization lies in the field of child protection and alternative care. Her career began in residential care for severely abused children in Jordan. Upon completing her doctorate that examined pathways of young Jordanian adults transitioning from residential care to adulthood, she returned to Jordan and was appointed Project Director and Co-Investigator of the Community-Family Integration Teams (C-FIT). The C-FIT program was a multi-year UNICEF funded partnership with Columbia University and Jordan’s Ministry of Social Development.  Through the introduction of foster care to the Jordanian child welfare system, the program aimed to deinstitutionalize children in residential care homes. The project represents one of the first formal implementations of community-based alternatives to institutional care in the region. The foster care program is now implemented in three cities serving 200 children. Dr. Ibrahim  continues to consult for the UNICEF Jordan Country Office, as well as other local and international organizations such as in Nothern Iraq, Indonesia and Morocco on areas along the continuum of alternative care. She has been a member of the International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care (INTRAC) since 2006, and was recently re-elected to continue to be part of INTRAC’s executive committee. She was also invited to be a member of the International Advisory Board at the Institute for Inspiring Children’s Future in the University of Strathclyde. Her interests include preparation and post-care support of youth transitioning from substitute care to adulthood and implementation science.  Of particular focus are subgroups of young people in care such as those separated from families at birth, and at-risk and unwed young mothers. She completed her PhD at the School of Social Work in the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) in 2010.


Dr. Rawan may be contacted at, +962-6-4294708


Under Review:

Ibrahim, R.W. Navigating through Local and North-South Research Dynamics. The chapter is part of the ‘Politics of Engaged Transformative Gender Research in Arab Countries’ project directed by Professor Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis.

Ibrahim, R.W. From educational failure to educational success: A case study of a care-leaver in Jordan




Ibrahim, R.W., Holmes, L. James, S. The importance of developing investment cases to deinstitutionalize children: Foster Care in Jordan

Ibrahim, R.W. Implementation science in developing economy contexts: Establishing Foster Care in Jordan






Philip S Goldman, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Beth Bradford, Alex Christopoulos, Patricia Lim Ah Ken, Christopher Cuthbert, Robbie Duchinsky, Nathan A Fox, Stela Grigoras, Megan R Gunnar, Rawan W Ibrahim, Dana Johnson, Santi Kusumaningrum, Ni Luh Putu Maitra Agastya, Frederick M Mwangangi, Charles A Nelson, Ellie M Ott, Sophie Reijman, Marinus Hva IJzendoorn, Charles H Zeanah, Yuning Zhang, Edmund J S Sonuga-Barke. The Lancet Group Commission on Institutionalisation and Deinstitutionalisation of Children 2: Policy and Practice Recommendations for Global, National, and Local Actors.  The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, 4:606-33. S2352-4642(20)30060-2.


Ibrahim, R.W. Longer-term contributions of formal and informal supports: Experiences of formal and informal supports.’ V. Mann-Fedder and M. Goyette (eds.) Leaving Care and the Transitions to Adulthood: International Contributions to Theory, Research and Practice. Emerging Adulthood Series: Oxford Press: 221-240.


Frampton, M., Ibrahim, R.W., Sameraa, L., Al Makhamreh, S. ‘English for Social Work: A Bilingual Terminology Handbook’. University of Vechta.  DOI: 10.23660/voado-59 (online and free ebook).


Ibrahim, R. W. ‘Care Leavers Looking Back on Residential Care Experiences in Jordan’.  I. Tuhinul and L, Fulcher, (eds.)  Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World: Asian and Middle East Perspectives. Cape Town: CYC-Net Press: 95-100.


Ibrahim, R.W. ‘Paying for my Father’s Sins: ‘Daughters of Unknown Lineage’.  N. Yaqub and R. Qawwas (eds.) Bad Girls of the Arab World. Austin: University of Texas Press: 100-120.


MacKenzie, M.J., Schwalbe, C.S., Gearing, R.E., Ibrahim, R.W., Conway, A., Brewer, K.B., Bint Shaker, Z. Dysregulated infant temperament and caregiver warmth in Jordanian Orphanages: The importance of considering goodness-of-fit. Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 400-406.


Gearing, R., Schwalbe, C. SJ, MacKenzie, M.J., Ibrahim, R.W., Bushnaq, S., Brewer,  K.B.   C-FIT adolescent diversion program: A behavioral intervention pilot test for delinquent offenders. International Social Work, 60 (5), 1111-1125.


Ibrahim, R.W. ‘Cast Out and Punished.’ P. Mendes and P. Snow (eds.) Young people transitioning from out-of-home care: International research, policy and practice. Palgrave Macmillan: 389-408.


Gearing, R. E.  Brewer, K.B.; Elkins, J.; Ibrahim, R.W.; MacKenzie, M. J.; Schwalbe, C. S.J. Prevalence and Correlates of Depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Suicidality in Jordanian Youth in Institutional Care. The journal of nervous and mental disease, 203(3), 175.


Brewer, K. B., MacKenzie, M. J., Ibrahim, R. W., Schwalbe, C. S., Batayneh, J., & Gearing, R. E.  Public perceptions of adolescent unwed mothers in need of care and protection in Jordan: Can community-based alternatives to institutional placement reduce stigma? International Social Work, 60(4), 861-868.


Gearing, R. E., MacKenzie, M. J., Ibrahim, R. W., Brewer, K. B., Batayneh, J. S., & Schwalbe, C. S. (2015). Stigma and Mental Health Treatment of Adolescents with Depression in Jordan. Community mental health journal, 51(1), 111-117.


Gearing, R. E., Schwalbe, C. S., MacKenzie, M. J., Brewer, K. B., & Ibrahim, R. W.  Assessment of Adolescent Mental Health and Behavioral Problems in Institutional Care: Discrepancies Between Staff-Reported CBCL Scores and Adolescent-Reported YSR Scores. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-9.


MacKenzie, M. J., Gearing, R. E., Schwalbe, C. S., Ibrahim, R. W., Brewer, K. B., & Al-Sharaihah, R. Child mental health in Jordanian orphanages: effect of placement change on behavior and caregiving. BMC Pediatrics, 14(1), 1173.


Schwalbe, C. S., Ibrahim, R. W., Brewer, K. B., MacKenzie, M. E., & Gearing, R. E. Is program structure related to stigma and community acceptance of justice-involved adolescents? Children and Youth Services Review, (35) 871-876.


Gearing, R. E., Brewer, K. B., Schwalbe, C. S., MacKenzie, M. J., & Ibrahim, R. W. Stigma and adolescents with psychosis in the Middle East: Implications for engaging in mental health treatment. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201(1), 68-71.


Gearing, R. E., MacKenzie, M. J., Schwalbe, C. S., Brewer, K. B., & Ibrahim, R. W. Prevalence of mental health and behavioral problems in adolescents in institutional care in Jordan. Psychiatric Services, 64 (2), 196-200.


Gearing, R. E., Schwalbe, C. S., MacKenzie, M. J., Brewer, K., Ibrahim, R. W., Olimat, H. S., Al-Makhamreh, S. S., Mian, I., & Al-Krenawi, A. Adaptation and translation of mental health interventions in Middle Eastern Arabic countries: A systematic review of barriers to and strategies for effective treatment implementation. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 59(7):671-81.



MacKenzie, M. J., Brewer, K. B., Schwalbe, C. S., Gearing, R. E., Ibrahim, R. W., Batayneh, J.,Darwish, D. M., Al-Kharabsheh, J., & Al-Zu´bi, M. H. (2012). Foster care as a viable alternative to institutional care in the Middle East: Community acceptance and stigma across type of placement in Jordan. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(6), 517-521.


Schwalbe, C.S., Gearing, R.E., Mackenzie, M.J., Brewer, K.B. & Ibrahim, R.W. A meta-analysis of experimental studies of diversion programs for juvenile offenders. Clinical Psychology Review, 32 (1), 26-33.


Ibrahim, R. W. & Howe, D.  The experience of Jordanian Care Leavers making the Transition from Residential Care to Adulthood: The Influence of a Patriarchal and Collectivist Culture. Special Issue: Transitions from Care to Adulthood, Child and Youth Services Review, 33 (12) 2469-2474.


Ibrahim, R.W. ‘Jordan’. M. Stein and Emily Munro (eds.) Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood: International Research and Practice.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers: 115-131.


Presentations and Conferences (selected)



Implementation Research for Contextualized Sustainability in Low Income Countries: The Role of Government, Academic, Communities & NGOs (presentation and master class in collaboration with Melissa Van Dyke). Global Implementation Conference (GIC 2019 V) 15th - 17th  September, Glasgow, Scotland.


Implementation Science in Developing Economy Contexts: Developing Foster Care in Jordan - In collaboration with Dr. Melissa Van Dyke (University of Strathclyde. Glasgow). European Scientific Association on Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF 2018 XV International Conference) 2nd – 5th October, Porto, Portugal.


Navigating local and North-South power relations: Experiences of a female Jordanian researcher. 2018 – 8th European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSRWA). Edinburgh, April 18th – 20th.





The Cultural Influence on Care Leaving: Jordan. International Alternative Care Conference. This conference was hosted by the International Institute for the Right of the Child (IDE) and the Centre for Children’s Rights at the University of Geneva. Geneva October 3rd – 5th.


Longer-term contributions of informal and formal supports: Experiences of Jordanian care leavers. EUSARF 2016 – 14th European Scientific Association for Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents Conference. Oviedo, September 13th – 16th.


How do positive work and educational experiences support transitions of young adult care leavers? Insights from studies in three countries.  Third International Congress of the Swiss Association of Social Work. Paper presented with Professor Robbie Gilligan (Trinity College, Dublin) and Dr. Laura Aranau Sabates (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona). Zurich, September 4th.


‘Implementation science in a developing context: Deinstitutionalizing children and youth in Jordan’. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. Florence, October 24th.


‘Yasmeen’s Case: How cultural values can promote the return of female care leavers as adult clients’. EUSARF 2014 - 13th European Scientific Association for Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents Conference. Copenhagen, September 3rd-5th.


The Community-family Integration Teams Project and Deinstitutionalizing Children in Jordan. Presentation conducted to Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. October 23rd.


‘The Influence of a Patriarchal Culture and Collective Society on the Transitional Pathways of Care Leavers; a Jordanian Experience’. Inside Out: XIth Biennial International European Scientific Association on Residential and Foster Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF) Conference. Groningen, the Netherlands. 22nd – 25th September.


Educational Background

University of East Anglia Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Thesis Title: ‘Making the Transition from Residential Care to Adulthood: The Experience of Jordanian Care Leavers’ Supervisor: Emeritus Professor David Howe Examiners: Emeritus Professor June T
University of Manchester Master’s in Development Studies Thesis Title: ‘Between the Informal Market and Regulation: Child Labour in Jordan’
Oglethorpe University Bachelor’s of Arts in Foreign Affairs

2016 – present German Jordanian University                                                                                Madaba, Jordan

Department of Social Work

  • 2016 – 2018, part-time adjunct lecturer
  • 2018 – present, full-time position


Assistant Professor

Exchange Coordinator

Coordinator for the Professional Social Work Training Certificate Program

Faculty member of the Scientific Research and Industrial Links Committees


Administrative duties:

Supporting the department in building its research portfolio (please see ‘Research Projects’ and ‘Publications’ sections below). 


Supporting the department in strategic planning with a focus on the department’s role in the professionalization of social work.

Supporting the department in developing partnerships with various local and international institutions. For the purpose of ensuring a continued link in the humanitarian and social work fields in Jordan, the development of partnerships focuses on local civil society organizations, governmental institutions, international non-governmental organizations and UN agencies.  International partnerships include those with academic institutions, and internationally recognized scholars for the purpose of knowledge exchange and collaboration.


Teaching & Course Instruction:

Research Methods with Vulnerable Populations: These courses are part of two academic programs; the Master’s degree and the Professional Training Certificate in Social Work. The courses introduce students to qualitative research with a focus on vulnerable populations and refugees. These applied courses provide students with opportunities to implement the main steps of the research process, crucially, in a developing-economy context where sensitivity to the importance of research is still growing and where research ethics policies and review boards for the social sciences are still absent.

Methods in Social Work: In addition to an introduction to the history, values and ethics of the social work profession on both the international and national levels, this master’s level foundational corse equips students with the knowledge and skills required in the helping process to support various vulnerable populations. 

Field Internships: Due to the nascent phase of the professionalization in social work, these applied courses are core-requirements for students in both the Master’s and Professional Training Certificate programs. Each cohort is required to complete a set number of supervised internship hours. The courses allow for orienting students to the various types and levels of social services, as well as link theories to the field.


Supervision of Master Thesis: Current student research topics include

‘Left-behind Syrian refugee children and the preparedness of UNHCR’s child protection system’.

‘Factors influencing rates of recidivism amongst 12-15-year-old Jordanian youth involved in the Jordanian Juvenile Justice System’. 


The Vermont Academy Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award (September 2017).

Joseph Lamberti Research Scholarship by the Trauma and Child Psychiatry Centre for Psychosocial Trauma, University of Missouri (2005)

Award of $1500 for doctoral study field work 2006