Duvall Family Studies Initiative


The Evelyn M. Duvall Family Studies Initiative is a forum for social work and other counseling/helping professionals in the Sarasota-Manatee region and beyond. We offer an annual symposium that brings together academics and practitioners to enable research-driven best practices within all of the human services professions. The 2022 conference promoted the most effective and up-to-date findings of family-related research and practical day-to-day work with families, particularly those experiencing effects of the national and local crisis in foster care and the lack of children’s preventive services. This year’s 2022 conference was a one-day event, Saturday, March 26, held at Selby Auditorium on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, featuring a prominent federal-level administrator, Dr. Jerry Milner, formerly the Commissioner of Child Welfare in Washington, D.C. He engaged in keynote comments as well as a question-and-answer session that was informative and instructive for the many social work professionals in the room.

The 2022 Conference also centered upon interdisciplinary work in the helping professions, particularly in the child welfare arena and specifically in regard to children and families. Two sessions of importance: one was a panel of former foster youth who are now on the path to successful academic and professional endeavors. The second event showcased a former foster child who is now engaged as a social work professional herself and gave a meaningful and engaging overview of clinical systems.

Click here to view the Duvall Article Archive or click here to view the USF Libraries Duvall Collection.

Inquiries: Dr. Michiel (Riaan) van Zyl, Duvall Initiative Administrator, via email at, phone at 813-974-1116, or in print to mail drop:

School of Social Work, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MHC 1417
Tampa, FL 33612-3807


2022 Program (held in march, 2022)

8:30: Welcome to USF and to the School of Social Work 
Dr. Karen Holbrook, Dr. Brett Kemker, Dr. Riaan van Zyl 
9:00: Keynote Address: Revisiting Child Abuse Prevention 
Keynote Speaker Dr. Jerry Milner 
10:30: Listening to the Youth Voice 
Dr. Jerry Milner & Dr. Jamie Bennett 
12:00 Lunch; Listening to the Community Voice 
Moderator: Nathan Scott III, BA, CCPP 
1:00: Listening to the Caregiver Voice 
Moderator: Nathan Scott III, BA, CCPP 
2:00: Using a United Voice: The Importance of Professional Development 
Moderator: Prof. Chris Groeber 
3:00 Questions and Wrap-up