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Bree Akesson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University

Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University who conducts research with children and families affected by war and global social work

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Dr. Akesson's program of research focuses broadly on international child protection, ranging from micro-level understandings of the experiences of children and families affected by war to macro-level studies on child protection systems strengthening. Her past research projects include an evaluation of psychosocial programs for children in Chechnya (2005) and northern Uganda (2008), a mapping of social work education in West and Central Africa (2014), a place-based study on the experiences of Palestinian children and families living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (2014), and an eight-country baseline study to determine child protection practices and social service workforce needs in southeast Europe (2015-2016). She is the principal investigator for two research projects with families displaced by the war in Syria: (1) a qualitative study exploring the childrearing experiences of Syrian families, and (2) a SSHRC-funded mixed methods study investigating Syrian families’ well-being and mobility. She is also working on projects in Afghanistan, Ghana, and Lebanon.


  • War and Violence
  • Syria
  • Social Work
  • Social Work Education
  • Refugee and Human Rights Issues
  • Refugee Resettlement
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Health
  • Palestine
  • Lebanon
  • Ghana
  • Crisis and Emergency Mental Health Interventions
  • Children and Families
  • Afghanistan


  • McGill University
    Social Work
    PhD, 2014
  • Columbia University
    Population and Family Health
    MPH, 2006
  • Columbia University
    Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice
    MSSW, 2006
  • Columbia University
    BA, 2001