Frederic Reamer, PhD

Frederic Reamer, Ph.D. Frederic G. Reamer is Professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. His research and teaching have addressed a wide range of human service issues, including mental health, health care, criminal justice, public welfare, and professional ethics. Dr. Reamer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1978) and has served as a social worker in correctional and mental health settings. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration (1978–1981), and the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work (1981–1983). Dr. Reamer has served as Director of the National Juvenile Justice Assessment Center of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1979–1981); as Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Rhode Island (1987–1990); and as a Commissioner of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, the state housing finance agency (1987–1995). Dr. Reamer served on the State of Rhode Island Parole Board from 1992 to 2016. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Social Work Education (1990–1994). He served as Associate Editor of the National Association of Social Workers Encyclopedia of Social Work (20th edition) and currently serves as Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Work Online (Oxford University Press and National Association of Social Workers).

Dr. Reamer has conducted extensive research on professional ethics. He has been involved in several national research projects sponsored by The Hastings Center, the Carnegie Corporation, the Haas Foundation, and the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare at the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania. He has published 21 books and more than 135 journal articles and book chapters. His books include:

  • On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption, and Justice (Columbia University Press)
  • Risk Management in Social Work: Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action (Columbia University Press)
  • Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services (Columbia University Press)
  • Heinous Crime: Cases, Causes, and Consequences (Columbia University Press)
  • The Social Work Ethics Casebook: Cases and Commentary (NASW Press)
  • A Guide to Essential Human Services (NASW Press)
  • Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice (Columbia University Press)
  • Social Work Values and Ethics (Columbia University Press)
  • Tangled Relationships: Managing Boundary Issues in the Human Services (Columbia
    University Press)
  • Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (NASW Press)
  • The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk Management Tool (NASW Press)
  • Ethics Education in Social Work (Council on Social Work Education)
  • The Foundations of Social Work Knowledge (Columbia University Press; editor and
  • Social Work Malpractice and Liability (Columbia University Press)
  • Social Work Research and Evaluation Skills (Columbia University Press)
  • The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work (Columbia University Press)
  • AIDS and Ethics (Columbia University Press; editor and contributor)
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Social Service (Columbia University Press)
  • Rehabilitating Juvenile Justice (Columbia University Press; co-author, Charles H. Shireman)
  • The Teaching of Social Work Ethics (The Hastings Center; co-author, Marcia Abramson)
  • Finding Help for Struggling Teens: A Guide for Parents and the Professionals Who Work with Them (NASW Press; co-author, Deborah H. Siegel)
  • Teens in Crisis: How the Industry Serving Struggling Teens Helps and Hurts Our Kids (Columbia University Press; co-author, Deborah H. Siegel)

Dr. Reamer is also the author of chapters on professional ethics in the Encyclopedia of Social Work, Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, and Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion. He has been an essayist on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” (“This I Believe” series), a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and a guest on various radio broadcasts (e.g., WVON–Chicago; WNYC–New York, KPCW–Utah, WOL–Washington, D.C., KFCD–Dallas, KVON–San Francisco, WGBH-Boston, WOLB–Baltimore, XM Satellite Radio). Since 2007 Dr. Reamer has served as host and producer of the National Public Radio series, “This I Believe”–Rhode Island, broadcast weekly by NPR and Rhode Island Public Radio. He is featured as a commentator in the 10-part video documentary, America’s Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil and in the 10-part video documentary, Rampage: Killing without Reason. He is also a featured expert on the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) series, “This Emotional Life.”

Dr. Reamer has lectured extensively nationally and internationally (including India, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Canada) on the subjects of professional ethics and professional malpractice and liability. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University, Simmons College, and Smith College. Dr. Reamer chaired the national task force that wrote the current Code of Ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers.

Dr. Reamer received the “Distinguished Contributions to Social Work Education” award from the Council on Social Work Education (1995); Presidential Award from the National Association of Social Workers (1997); Richard Lodge Prize from Adelphi University for “outstanding contributions to the development of social work theory” (2005); Edith Abbott Award from the University of Chicago for “distinguished service to society and outstanding contributions at the local, national or international levels” (2005); Neil J. Houston, Jr. Memorial Award for “dedicated service and citizen contribution toward the criminal justice profession and the public interest” (2009); International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers for significantly advancing “the public image of social work” (2012), and the Excellence in Ethics Award from the National Association of Social Workers (2015). In 2016 Dr. Reamer was named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers for his “commitment and dedication to the social work profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions at the local, state, national, and international levels.”