Norma Jean Profitt

School of Social Work
Associate Professor (1999)
BA (Dalhousie), MSW, PhD (Wilfrid Laurier)

Brian Mulroney Hall Office # 307

Phone (506) 452-0495

Courses Taught

Bachelor of Social Work Courses:

    • ScWk 2013  Introduction to Social Welfare
    • ScWk 2036  Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
    • ScWk 3123  Direct Practice
    • ScWk 3103  Field Instruction
    • ScWk 3026  Theory for Social Work Practice I
    • ScWk 3033  Applied Social Research
    • ScWk 3213  Women and Social Work
    • ScWk 3873  Social Work and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Two-Spirited Peoples
    • ScWk 5213  Fundamentals of Community Organizing
    • ScWk 5223 Organizing for Action with Diverse Groups

Independent Study Courses

  • BSW ScWk 6953 Feminist Counselling
  • Phd courses on Community Organization; Transformative Learning

MSW Courses

  • MSW 6230 – Community Development

Family Violence Certificate Programme Courses

I teach a course "International Perspectives on Violence against Women" for the Family Violence Certificate Programme, Muriel McQueen Centre for Research on Family Violence, Fredericton.

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Woman abuse, violence against women, feminist practice in transition houses and political action for social change, sexual harassment, feminist community organizing, feminist research, feminist social work; theories of transformative learning, critical and feminist theories, queer theories; international social work and international perspectives on gender violence.  

Current Research

In the Best Interests of Women and Children: Exploring the Issue of "Failure to Protect" - Fredericton Site
This report describes the findings of our research on the issue of “failure to protect” in the Fredericton area. In this site, we interviewed nine Child Protection social workers and seven Women in Transition House workers to examine their knowledge and practice in situations of intimate partner violence and child exposure. Our research purpose was threefold: 1) to improve child protection and community intervention for women, children and families in situations of intimate partner violence; 2) to gain insights into how to intervene in ways that do not re-victimize women; and 3) to strengthen the working relationship between Child Protection and Women in Transition House.

The interplay of the personal, professional, and political in the lives of social workers working from feminist and gender perspectives and its relation to commitments to social justice and social change

A political, collective notion of self-care, “vicarious trauma”, and social change work.

Child protection practice in “Failure to protect” cases – when men beat mothers

The global women’s movement and responses to gender violence

Most Recent Community Service Work

  • Vice-President, Liberty Lane Second Stage Housing
  • Member, Health Promotion Committee, Multicultural Association of Fredericton
  • Co-facilitator, Support Group for Refugee and Immigrant Women
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Research on Immigrant Women and Violence in the Atlantic Region

Selected Publications


Profitt, N.J. (2000). Women survivors, psychological trauma, and the politics of resistance. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Book Chapters

Profitt, N.J. (Forthcoming 2011).  Self-care, social work and social justice. In D. Baines (Ed.), Doing anti-oppressive practice: Building transformative politicized social work (2nd Ed.). Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Profitt, N.J. (2009). “Not a tough enough skin?”: Resisting paternalist relations in academe. In E. Faulkner & G. MacDonald, (Eds.), Victim no more? Women’s resistance to law, culture and power. Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Journal Articles

Profitt, N.J. (2008). Who cares for us? Opening paths toward a critical, collective notion of self-care. Canadian Social Work Review, 25(2), 147-168. Special theme: International Social Work: Conceptual, Practice and Research Issues.

Profitt, N.J. (2008). ¿Quién nos cuida a nosotras? Abriendo senderos para un autocuidado colectivo. Revista Costarricense de Trabajo Social, 20, 56-73.

Hillock, S., & Profitt, N.J. (2007). Developing a practice and andragogy of resistance: Structural praxis inside and outside the classroom. Canadian Social Work Review, 24(1), 39-54.

Profitt, N.J. (2004). Mapping the personal in contested terrain: Educating students about heterosexism and affirmative social work practice. In S. LeMay Sheffield, C. O’Neil, K. L. Taylor, & D. Nevo, (Eds.), Atlantic Universities’ Teaching Showcase 2004 – Proceedings IX (pp. 111-119). Halifax, NS: Dalhousie University.

Profitt, N.J., Lavigne, R., & Muller, K. (2002). Reflections on trust and learning: Practicing dignity in the course Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Two-Spirited Peoples and Social Work. In G. Tucker & D. Nevo, (Eds.), Atlantic Universities’ Teaching Showcase - Proceedings VI, (pp.61-73).  Sackville, NB: Mount Allison University.

Profitt, N.J. (2000). Survivors of woman abuse: Compassionate fires inspire collective action for social change. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 11(2), 77-102.

_____. (1996). “Battered women” as “victims” and “survivors”: Creating space for resistance. Canadian Social Work Review, 13(1), 23-38. 

_____. (1994). Resisting violence against women in Central America: The experience of a feminist collective. Canadian Social Work Review, 11(1), 103-115.

Reflection on Practice

Pérez Naranjo, D. & Profitt, N.J. (1992). Tire el silencio afuera. Sistematización de la experiencia de un grupo de apoyo mutuo y reflexiones sobre la violencia contra la mujer. San José, Costa Rica: Colectivo de Mujeres Pancha Carrasco.

Creative Writing

Profitt, N.J. (2003). Of particle and wave. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 14(2), 84-91.