2023 Commencement

May 12, 2023 - Ceremony for Class of 2023 PhD, DSW, MSW and MSN

Apply Now - Master of Social Work

Fall 2023 Deadline: Full-Time - April 3
Summer 2023 Deadline: Part-Time/Flex - February 15

Audrey Shelby

Assistant Teaching Professor, Practicum Education

Experienced macro practitioner, administrator, manager and educator in the field of child welfare, with a specific interest in primary prevention and disproportionality and equity in the foster care system.

Media Contact
Audrey Shelby
Email:  tousant@usc.edu
Phone:  213-764-4763
Rank:  Clinical
Department:  Children, Youth and Families

Audrey Shelby

Assistant Teaching Professor, Practicum Education

Experienced macro practitioner, administrator, manager and educator in the field of child welfare, with a specific interest in primary prevention and disproportionality and equity in the foster care system.

Media Contact

Biography

Audrey Tousant Shelby, MSW, is an assistant teaching professor of practicum education. She works on the Public Child Welfare Stipend program team supporting students who want to pursue a career in public child welfare. Professor Shelby joined the USC practicum faculty in 2022, after serving in the field of child welfare for 16 years in the private and public sectors. She was fortunate to begin her child welfare career at a local nonprofit, SHIELDS for Families, where she designed, implemented and managed child welfare programs spanning the continuum from prevention to post-adoption services. From there she was promoted to oversee the child welfare division. Professor Shelby would move on to provide children welfare jurisdictions with technical assistance, coaching, training, and workforce development across California, to enhance practice and improve outcomes for children, youth, and families that touch the foster care system.
Through her workforce development efforts, Professor Shelby has facilitated training and developed curriculum to address issues of cultural responsiveness, fairness and equity, effective engagement and interviewing, and experiential learning through simulation in child welfare. She has also supported implementation of various state and local policies and practice initiatives to improve the child welfare system including diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, child and family Team meetings, safety organized practice, resource family approval, permanency roundtables, and family finding.
Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Professor Shelby served as the Children Services Administrator (Chief of Staff) to the Chief Deputy Director (CDD) of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. There she served on various key initiatives, moving the department's strategic plan forward, including the implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, Thriving Families, Risk Stratification, and various initiatives under the Office of Equity.
Professor Shelby is dedicated to analyzing the underlying causes of disproportionality and disparity among children of color in foster care, particularly African Americans, and lifting up promising practices to address disparities in care. With her lived experience as an adoptee, Professor Shelby is committed to child welfare reform to help the foster care system transform to a system of child well-being, enhancing the lives of those who touch the system and supporting families to effectively reunify and stay together.

Education

University of California, Riverside

BA 2005

University of Southern California

MSW 2008

Area of Expertise

  • Child Welfare

  • Primary prevention

  • Program Development & implementation

  • Curriculum Development

  • Training

  • Coaching

  • Case management

Affiliations

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Member