Social Work News

Monday, October 3

In Memory: Donald Brieland, PhD

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE
NASW Illinois Chapter Executive Director

On behalf of the NASW Illinois Chapter, we want to express our deepest condolences to the family of Donald Brieland, PhD.

Dr. Brieland, founding director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, was a true giant in the social work profession in the state of Illinois and in the country. He served as social work dean at both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Jane Addams College of Social Work). His obituary can found at:

His obituary reads as follows:

Donald Brieland
Champaign—Donald Brieland, the founding director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and author of one of the foremost texts on social work and the law, died at 7:05 pm Friday September 30, 2011 at Provena Covenant Hospital in Urbana, Ill. He was 87.  A beloved father and husband, world traveler, a leader and pioneer in the field of Social Work and the law, Don's memory is a blessing to all those whose lives he has touched.

Brieland is survived by his wife, Wynne Korr of Champaign and his children, Lisa Castor (son-in-law Randy) of  Mahomet, IL and Joan Brieland (son-in-law Greg Shoultz), of Chelsea, MI; and grandchildren Joe Castor and Anna and Kathryn Brieland- Shoultz..
Visitation will be held at Morgan Memorial Home on Tuesday October 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm, memorial service immediately following at 5 pm. Burial service will be private.

Brieland, of Champaign, was dean emeritus of the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he served from 1980 to 1990. Previously, Brieland had been the dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1975 to 1980. His wife, Wynne Korr, of Champaign, is the current dean of the School of Social Work at the Urbana campus.

Brieland was professor and director of the Social Service Center at the University of Chicago from 1965 to 1970 and an associate dean of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago from 1968 to 1970. He was the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services from 1963 to 1965.

At Urbana, Brieland led the push for accreditation of the bachelor of social work program and the development of courses and texts in contemporary social work, and social work and the law.

Brieland's research and teaching focused on contemporary social work as well as child and family policy; social work and the law; human behavior and the social environment; and social work education.

He wrote "Social Work and the Law," with John Lemmon, and "Contemporary Social Work," with C. Atherton and L. Costin.

Brieland was a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Peshawar, in Pakistan, and also a visiting professor at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. He served as a visiting professor during summer sessions at Virginia Commonwealth University, Iowa State University, Union College, the University of Omaha, and Macalester College.

He was a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. In addition, he was editor in chief of the journal Social Work from 1976 to 1979.

Born in 1924 in Pencer, MN, Brieland earned his bachelor's degree at Carleton College, in Minnesota; his master's at Northwestern University; and his doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He was an ordained Episcopal Minister and served in the clergy at Saint Michael's Church in Barrington, IL.

The family has requested memorial donations may be sent to the Brieland Visiting Scholar Fund, in care of the University of Illinois Foundation, Harker Hall, 1305 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801. Flowers can be sent to Morgan Memorial Home.

Posted on 10/03/11 at 08:41 AM


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