Dr. Chau is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health & Social Development, School of Social Work at UBC Okanagan Campus. She holds a B.A. Psychology (Hons.) (Supervisor: Dr. J. Ogloff, Simon Fraser University), a B.S.W. degree from UBC Vancouver, and an M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Previous to her academic appointment at UBC Okanagan, Dr. Chau was a clinical social worker specializing in crisis intervention work for a national service provider for large corporations. Other clinical experience includes her years spent working in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC for several psychiatrists and psychologists as a research assistant in large studies of personality disorders and assessment, including one of the largest studies involving twins in Canada. Her training and background in applied research in health and social sciences and her experiences as a clinical social worker have led to her interest in transdisciplinary perspectives on social problems and their impact on individual experiences of social exclusion in interprofessional contexts (see her research activities below). These experiences have led Dr. Chau to explore how these social issues and impacts can be “social worked” in a good way for good outcomes in health and wellbeing (social, cultural, etc.).
Ph.D. (Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto)
M.S.W. (Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto)
B.S.W. (School of Social Work, University of British Columbia (Vancouver)
B.A. (Hons.) (Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University)
Dr. Chau has taught/teaches graduate-level courses: Direct Social Work Practice (Interviewing and Assessment), Theories of Direct Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice with Immigrants (2016 Summer Elective), Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Practice in Clinical Social Work (2016/17 Winter Elective), and Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice (formerly taught HINT 501: Health Interprofessional Evidence-Based Practice for students in MSN and MSW programmes). Central to her teaching approach is the anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens for clinical practice and social and organizational change, and the profession’s accountability in response to the recommendations from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Dr. Chau’s clinical interests and experience are in the areas of work and wellness, crisis intervention, psychological trauma, immigrant settlement issues (individual, couple, intergenerational conflict, and family preservation), identity, individual counseling, and development in the life course.
Dr. Chau also conducts research with individuals and communities in transition that experience social marginalization and social exclusion due to race and ethnicity, racialized identities, and racism, class (e.g., homeless populations), and other factors that influence their access to services in the health and social care systems in “large”, “midsized”, and “small” cities in Canada. As well, youths at risk of becoming homeless/houseless, including youths transitioning out of care (child protection). These interests build on her previous research on: housing issues in child welfare; the impact of inquests on child welfare organizations; the health and wellbeing of Chinese Canadian seniors; the settlement experiences of Asian immigrant adolescents; and the health of homeless youth exposed to violence on the streets of Toronto’s inner city.
Currently, she conducts research with individuals and communities in transition that experience social exclusion due to race and ethnicity, racialized identities, and racism, class (e.g., homeless populations), and other factors that influence their access to services in the health and social care systems in “large”, “midsized”, and “small” cities in BC and other provinces in Canada. She is the lead investigator on several tri-council grants and UBCO internal grants to study the health and wellbeing of immigrants in small and mid-sized Canadian cities (PI, CIHR, $238,762, 2011-2014; PI, UBCO Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Grant, $10,000, 2012), and a study on the social capital of recent newcomers from Mainland China (PI, SSHRC, $146,260, 2012-2015).
Dr. Chau is accepting graduate students interested in the above clinical practice and research areas for graduate thesis supervision and other mentorship opportunities (e.g., applied social work research).
Keywords: Access, Ageing, Ally, At-Risk Youth, Belonging & Recognition, Canada, Child Welfare, Chinese, Culture, Culturally Effective Practice, Ethnicity, Guanxi, Health, Health Care System, Health Care Access, Homelessness, Houselessness, Immigrant, Integration, Integrity, Intergenerational, Mental Wellbeing, Midsized Cities, Older Adults, Photovoice Method, Race, Racialization, Settlement, Social Capital, Social Care, Social and Cultural Determinants of Health, Social Exclusion, Social Services, Social Work Practice, Surveys, Wellbeing
Current Research Projects & Funding:
1. Project: Remembering and Commemorating Trauma.
PIs: B. Le Normand (History, Irving K. Barber School, UBCO) & M. Tamez (Indigenous Studies, Irving K. Barber School, UBCO), Co-Is: B. Buffam (Sociology), S. Chau (Social Work, FHSD), A. Hargreaves (English), C. Higgs (History), V. Magnat (FCCS), S. Porter (Psychology), and M. Ungureanu (Philosophy)
Funder & Funding Amount: University of British Columbia, Vice President Research, Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters: Social Sciences & Humanities, $11,000 (2016-2017)
2. A community-based intervention to support belonging among the South Indian Canadian diaspora.
PI: C. S.Caxaj (Nursing, UBCO)
Co-Is: South Okanagan Immigrant Community Services Society, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society, S. Chau (SOWK, UBCO), N. Gill, A. Dhaliwal (Women’s Organizing Committee)
Funder & Funding Amount: Vancouver Foundation, $9,985 (2015-2016)
3. Queer(y)ing Campus Space: Experiences of Queer, Indigenous, and/or Students of Colour at UBCO.
PI: C.S. Caxaj (Nursing, UBCO)Studies, UBCO
Co-Is: R. Lee (FCCS, UBCO), I. Parkins (Gender & Women Studies, UBCO), S. Chau (SOWK, UBCO)
Funder & Funding Amount: UBC Hampton Endowment Fund, $23,740 (2013-2016)
4. Experiences of social cohesion, cross-cultural understanding as indicators of community-wide mental health promotion.
PI: C.S. Caxaj (Nursing, UBCO), Co-Is: Chau, S., McDonald, M., Pauly, B., Clark, N., Jakubec, S., O’Mahony, J., Damoon, R. & Leipert, B.
Funder & Funding Amount: Rural Health Services Research Network Team Building Award, $5000.00 (2013-2014)
5. Project: Understanding the process of building social capital in the economic integration of recent and long-term Chinese immigrants
PI: S. Chau, Co-Is: D. Lai, University of Calgary, M. Cheung, University of Manitoba, & J. Hughes, University of Manitoba
Funder & Funding Amount: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Insight Grant, $146,260 (3-Year Funding, 2012-2015)
6. Project: Building knowledge on the determinants of health of immigrants in smaller cities: a photovoice study
PI: S. Chau, Co-Is: C. Teixeira, UBC Okanagan Campus, D. Lai, University of Calgary, & J. Hughes, University of Manitoba
Funder & Funding Amount: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Operating Grant, $238,762 (3-Year Funding, 2011-2014)
7. Project: Developing knowledge about the determinants of health and wellbeing of immigrants in Kelowna, BC (A Survey).
PI: S. Chau, Co-Is: C. Teixeira, UBC Okanagan Campus
Funder & Funding Amount: UBC Okangan Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Grant, $10,000 (1-Year, Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012)
Past Research Projects & Funding:
- Project: Interventions to enhance cultural competence of service systems and reduce health inequities: a multidisciplinary perspective
PI: S. Wells, UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-I: A. Detlaff, University of Chicago
Principal Knowledge User: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan
Funder & Funding Amount: CIHR, Knowledge Synthesis Grant, $100,000 (1-Year, 2011-2012)
- Project: Examining the barriers, constraints, and motives to physical activity participation in a sample of South Asians living in Canada
PI: C. Caperchione, UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-I: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan
Funder & Funding Amount: UBC Okanagan Campus – Faculty of Health and Social Development Interdisciplinary Grant, $10,000 (1-Year, 2010-2011)
- Project: A collaborative action research initiative to improve urban Aboriginal child and family welfare services in the interior of British Columbia
PI: D. Sookraj, UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-I: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan, P. Hutchinson, UBC Okanagan, & V. Richards, Metis Community Services of BC
Funder & Funding Amount: SSHRC, Aboriginal Development Initiatives Grant, $13,509 (1-Year, 2010-2011).
- Project: Establishing cultural safety and effecting organizational change for Aboriginal health care in urban centers of the Okanagan Valley
PI: R. Hole (Nominated PI)
Co-I: J. Bottorff, L. Berg, M. Evans, S. Chau, L. Bryant-McLean, D. Kurtz, D. Wepa
Funder & Funding Amount: CIHR, Operating Grant, $502,936 (4-Years, 2009-2012)
- Project: Social capital, social exclusion, and Chinese seniors
PI: D. Lai, University of Calgary
Co-Is: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan, K. T. Tsang, University of Toronto
Funder & Funding Amount: SSHRC, Standard Research Grant, $133,000 (4-Years, 2008-2011)
- Project: Violence against women living in rural and remote communities: practices and interventions of service providers within child welfare and family law
PI: J. Hughes, University of Manitoba
Co-I: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan
Funder & Funding Amount: SSHRC, Standard Research Grant, $105,470 (5-Years, 2008-2012)
- Project: The effects of temporary housing on homelessness in Kelowna.
PI: S.Chau, UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-Is: W. Watts, UBC Okanagan Campus
- Project: Urban-rural migration and health and quality of life in homeless people
PI: J. Frankish, UBC Vancouver Campus
Co-Is: T. Huerta, UBC Vancouver Campus, S. Chau, UBC Okanagan Campus
Funder & Funding Amount: British Columbia Medical Services Foundation, $49,608 (1-Year, 2007-2008)
- Project: From planning to practice: Establishing cultural safety and effecting organizational change in the Aboriginal health care system in the urban centres of the Central Okanagan
PI: R. Hole (Nominated PI), UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-Is: M. Evans, L. Berg, J. Bottorff, S. Chau, D. Sookraj, & L. Bryant-McLean
Funder & Funding Amount: CIHR, Planning Grant, $48,000 (1-Year, 2006-2007)
- Project: From policies on paper to action in the community: A comparative study of the implementation of multiculturalism policies in rural and urban BC
PI: S. Chau, UBC Okanagan Campus
Co-Is: M.C. Yan, UBC Vancouver Campus, D. Sangha, University of Northern British Columbia
Funder & Funding Amount: SSHRC, Multiculturalism Grant, $49,498 (1-Year, 2006-2007/08)
(*funded by SSHRC)
<Publications from 2014 – 2016 to be updated here>
*Hughes, J., & Chau, S. (2013). Making complex decisions: Child protection workers’ practices and interventions with families experiencing intimate partner violence. Children and Youth Services Review, Online DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.01.003.
*Yan, M.C., Chau, S., & Sangha, D. (2012). An exploratory study of how multiculturalism policies are implemented at the grassroots level. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 41-41 (2009-2010) (3-1), 49-75.
*Hughes, J., & Chau, S. (2012). Children’s best interests and intimate partner violence in the Canadian Family Law and Child Protection Systems. Critical Social Policy, 32(4), 677-695. DOI: 10.1177/0261018311435025
Gray, D., Chau, S., Huerta, T., & Frankish, J. (2011). Interventions to enhance cultural competence of service systems and reduce health inequities: a multi-disciplinary perspective. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, Vol. XX, 1&2, 75-93.
*Hughes, J. Chau, S., & Poff, D. (2011). “They’re not my favourite people”: What mothers who have experienced intimate partner violence say about involvement in the child protection system. Children and Youth Services Review, 33 (7), 1084.1089. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.01.015
*Chau, S. & Lai, D. (2011). The size of an ethno-cultural community as a social determinant of health for Chinese seniors. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 13(6), 1090-1098. DOI: 10.1007/S10903-010-9374-0. (First published online on August 4, 2010 at http://www.springerlink.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/content/r728q541n5367lt1/fulltext.pdf
*Lai, D.W.L., Tsang, K.T., Chappell, N., Lai, D.C.Y., & Chau, S.B.Y. (2007) Relationships between culture and health status: A multi-site study of the older Chinese in Canada. Canadian Journal on Aging, 26 (3) : 171 – 184.
*Lai, D., & Chau, S. (2007). Effects of service barriers on health status of elderly Chinese immigrants in Canada. Social Work, 52, 261-269.
*Lai, D.W.L., & Chau, S. (2007). Predictors of health service barriers for older Chinese immigrants in Canada. Health & Social Work, 32(1), 57-65.
Regehr, C, Leslie, B., Howe, P., & Chau, S. (2005). Stress, Trauma, and Support in Child Welfare Practice. The APSAC Advisor, 17(2), 12 – 18.
Regehr, C., Hemsworth, D., Leslie, B., Howe, P., & Chau, S. (2004). Predictors of post-traumatic distress in child welfare workers: A linear structural equation model. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 331 – 346.
Tsang, K.T., Irving, H., Alaggia, R., Chau, S., & Benjamin, M. (2003). Negotiating Ethnic Identity. Youth & Society Journal, 34(3), 359 – 384.
Regehr, C., Chau, S., Leslie, B., & Howe, P. (2002). Inquiries into the deaths of children: Impacts on child welfare workers and their organizations. Children and Youth Services Review, 24, pp. 885 – 902.
Regehr, C., Chau, S., Leslie, B., & Howe, P. (2002). An exploration of supervisors’ and managers’ response to child welfare reform. Administration in Social Work, 26 (3), 17 – 36.
Alaggia, R., Chau, S., and Tsang, K. T. (2001). Astronaut Asian families: Impact of migration on family structure from the perspective of the youth. Journal of Social Work Evaluation and Research: An International Journal, 2(2), 295 – 306.
Chau, S., Lai, D., & Tong, H. (2012). The role of social exclusion in the perception and experience of health and wellbeing of aging Chinese immigrants in Canada. Presented at the 41st Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) conference, Vancouver, BC, October 21, 2012.
Chau, S., Lai, D., & Tsang, K. T. (2012). Social capital in the Canadian context: Relevance and implications to working with aging Chinese immigrants. Presented at the Knowledge Mobilization Symposium: Social Work with Chinese Communities: Integration of Research and Professional Practice in a Global Context, Vancouver, BC, October 2, 2012.
Chau, S. (2012). “It’s a piece of cake to conduct research on immigrants, isn’t it?” Presented at Metropolis National Conference (For theme of Housing & Health among immigrants), Toronto, Ontario, March 2, 2012.
Chau, S., Lai, D., & Tong, H. (2011). Social exclusion in aging immigrants: Perspectives of aging Chinese immigrants in Canada. Presented at 40th Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) conference, Toronto, Ontario, October 23, 2011.
Hughes, J., & Chau, S. (2011). Women’s experiences as evidence to improve social workers’ responses to intimate partner violence in the child welfare. Presented at the International Conference of Violence Against Women: Complex Realities and New Issues in a Changing World, Montreal, QC, May 31, 2011.
Chau, S., & Lai, D. (2010). Cultural influences in the physical and mental health status of aging Chinese adults in the Canadian context. Presented at the 39th Canadian Association of Gerontology (CAG) conference, Montreal, QC, Dec. 4, 2010.