NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Wayne D. Duehn, Ph.D., ACSW, LCSW
Dr. Wayne D. Duehn is Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Arlington. He is recognized for his research on sexuality, evidence-based practice, trauma informed care, sexual safety innovations in adoption and foster care and for setting new standards of assessment for child abuse offenders and treatment for victims, in civilian and military settings.
As a Professor in the School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Arlington, Duehn's signature contributions were his early teaching, research and social work curriculum building in human sexuality following a research-clinical doctoral internship at the Masters & Johnson Institute in St. Louis. His research and teaching methods, early in his career, marked a new path for the social work profession. His numerous contributions in prestigious journals and research with social work colleagues in the field of sexuality contributed new knowledge to students and seasoned professionals.
Duehn's investigation and interventions into human sexuality, child sexual abuse, child welfare investigation, and mental health treatment were areas of social service that was then new and unexplored. Duehn created a vision and passion for changing the field and community with respect to understanding child sexual abuse. He was a global leader and innovator in the area of sexual treatment, addressing past sexual abuse and sexual safety issues in adoption and foster care and developing standards of care and assessment for offender treatment. Wayne Duehn was and is an exemplary educator, practitioner and researcher.
His scholarship was consistently innovative: He incorporated into the social work curriculum material from the sexual revolution in the 1970s led by Masters and Johnson; he developed two specialization courses for graduate students in the area of social work practice in human sexuality and the treatment of the sexually abused child; he took an evidence-based approach to direct practice at a time when this was not the norm in the profession; and he conducted outstanding research on interpersonal communication and outcome effectiveness of training in direct practice, work which gained him a national reputation and helped place the new School of Social Work on the map.
Reflective of his eminence as a scholar-practitioner, his research has been applied in training human services agency staff throughout the region, the nation, and the world. Duehn's consulting and teaching/workshop presentations are still operational worldwide. His more than 900 presentations, keynote conference presentations, seminars, institutes and agency workshops on child sexual abuse and child welfare are in themselves an outstanding achievement and attest to the confidence the field of child welfare in general and child maltreatment more specifically continues to have in Duehn's competence and capacity at finding ways to keep children and families safer. Through his extensive professional travel, Duehn has exerted significant influence within the profession.
Of particular significance is Duehn's longstanding relationship with the military communities (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines & Navy), spanning from the mid 1980's to the present, with respect to identifying and responding to child sexual abuse, developing sexual abuse investigative protocols and the assessment of offenders all of which attests to the relevance of the concern at the federal level. Furthermore, Duehn developed a child abuse prevention program for the Department of Defense Dependents School (DoDDS) which was implemented world-wide. It is this work in identifying child sexual abuse and its offenders and the prevention of sexual abuse that is his most remarkable legacy
Perhaps Duehn's most important achievement and contribution to the social work field and to the impact of practice has been in relation to human sexuality and child sexual abuse. His early career in teaching and research related to human sexuality marked a new path in which the profession could move.
Significant Achievements and Awards
The outcome of his long classroom and teaching contributions may be seen in his numerous honors and recognitions over his career. In 1969 he was first awarded with a "career teaching award" from NIMH. In addition, Duehn has been the recipient of the UTA School of Social Work's Fernando Torgerson award for teaching excellence four times (1989, 1998, 2000, 2003). He has been honored as a distinguished teaching scholar with the military (1987, 1990-twice) and on numerous occasions has been included in Who's Who in American Education.
The early publications Duehn authored (1981, 1982, 1990) marked his transition to a narrowed and definitive area of concern. His investigation into child sexual abuse, child welfare investigations and treatment defined the next 30 years as areas of excellence and in areas of social service that in those early years were new and unexplored.