University of Calgary

Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff

  • Adjunct
  • Emerita Professor - Research
  • Aboriginal Issues, Indigenous Education, Rural & Northern Practice
  • Crisis, Trauma, Suicide Prevention
  • Disabilities
  • Homelessness
  • Leadership in Human Services

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Dr. Waegemakers Schiff has a diverse background in mental health and homelessness. Her interests span direct services delivery as well as macro issues of the organizational contexts of services delivery. She combines an extensive background of direct practice and administration with her academic work and interests. 

Education initiatives: Professor Waegemakers Schiff has been the chief architect for three major educational initiatives involving interprofessional practice: the children’s Mental health interprofessional; curriculum, the Interprofessional Mental Health and Addiction certificate and diploma programs and the certificate for frontline workers in the homeless sector.  She also a member of the interprofessional practice initiative at the Cummings School of Medicine.  She has contributed to numerous book chapters inn her areas of expertise and is the author of Working with Homeless and vulnerable People (Lyceum/Oxford).

Teaching interests: Mental health and addictions, interprofessional practice, homelessness and marginalized people, organizational theory and program evaluation; integration of theory and practice.

Research and Scholarly Activity

Research: persistent mental illness, addictions, various aspects of homelessness, including rural and aboriginal issues, and program evaluation of housing first and other housing programs. She is a member of the Canadian Homeless Research Network and the organizing steering committee of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and was a member of the steering committee of the Canadian Society for Spirituality in Social Work (CSSSW).  She coordinated the second national conference on Homelessness in Canada (2009) and the CSSSW in 2010. 

Current Research

Prof. Waegemakers Schiff’s recent work includes examining the psychosocial stressors of PTSD and vicarious trauma in frontline support workers in the homeless sector and a new study examining the psychosocial demands on staff in domestic violence shelters.  She is also conducting, in partnership with re4searchers at Lakehead University, a longitudinal examination of poverty reduction strategies using a Circle/ Getting Ahead and Moving Forward program in Ontario.


Education:  PhD & MPhil. Columbia University in mental health and addictions policy and administration; MSW, University of Toronto, specialization in mental health.  She holds and adjunct appointment in the Mathison Centre, Hotchkiss Brain Institute.

Professional and Community Associations

Prof. Waegemakers Schiff is an associate member of the Mathison Centre, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness(COH), Canadian Research Network on Homelessness ( CHRN), and the  Alberta College of Social Work. She is also co-chair of the Mountain Ridge Place association.

Media Work

Rural Homelessness in Alberta.  Alberta Views  (Fall 2014). 

Webinar on rural homelessness in Alberta (2014).  Centre for Child, Family and Community Research.

Webinar on rural homelessness in Canada.

Publications from 2008-Present

Waegemakers Schiff, J. (2015) Working With Homeless and  Vulnerable People: Basic Skills and Practices.  Lyceum, Chicago..IBSN 978-1-935871-62-0.  440 p.

Canadian Homelessness Research Network (2013): Gaetz, S., Scott, F.,Marsolais, A., Gulliver, T., Pauly, B., Turner, A., Belanger, Y., Harris, B., Daiski, I., Waegemakers Schiff, J.  Raine, L,. Aubry, T., Karabanow, J.   What Works and For Whom? A Hierarchy of Evidence for Promises Practices Research. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.

Waegemakers Schiff, J. & Lane, A. (in press) Traumatic stress in workers within the homeless serving sector: The impact of organizational factors, in Multidisciplinary Approaches to Post Traumatic Stress: Causes, Consequences and Responses. Ricciardell, R, Bornstein, S., & Blundell, J. Routledge. 

Schiff, R., Turner, A., Waegemakers Schiff, J. (2016). Rural Aboriginal Homelessness in Canada. In. Peters, E. and Christianson, J.  Indigenous Homelessness.  U. of   Manitoba Press.

Schiff, R. & Waegemakers Schiff, J. (2016). Collaborative Approaches to Addressing Homelessness in Canada: Value and challenge in the Community Advisory Board Model.  In  Systems-Level Collaborative Approaches to Addressing Homelessness,  York University Homeless HUB Press. 

Waegemakers Schiff, J. & Schiff, R.  (2016). Northern Housing Networks: Building Collaborative Efforts to Address Housing and Homelessness in Remote Canadian Aboriginal Communities in the Context of Rapid Economic Change. In   Systems-Level Collaborative Approaches to Addressing Homelessness in Canada. Toronto, York University Homeless HUB Press.

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Pauly, B., Schiff, R.  (2016).  Health Needs and Analysis of Pandemic Planning in four Canadian Cities. In Pandemic preparedness in the homeless sector. Bucierri, K & Schiff, R. eds. York University Homeless HUB Press.

Waegemakers Schiff, J & Lane, A. (2016). Understanding pandemic preparedness by homeless services in the context of an influenza outbreak: The Calgary response. In Pandemic preparedness in the homeless sector. Bucierri, K & Schiff, R. eds. York University Homeless HUB Press.

Refereed Journal Articles  

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Schiff, R., & Turner, A. (2016). Rural Homelessness in Western Canada: Lessons learned from diverse communities. Social Inclusion. 

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Schiff, R., Turner, A., & Bernard, K. (2015). Rural homelessness in Canada: Directions for planning and research. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 10(4), 85-106.

Waegemakers Schiff, J., & Schiff, R. (2014). Housing First: Paradigm or Program? Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 23(2), 80-104.

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Schiff, R. & Schneider, B., (2014 ). Developing an estimate of housing needs for persons with serious mental illnesses.  International Journal of Population Research. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 245024,

Graham, J. R., Schiff, J. W., & Coates, J. (2011). Introduction: Social Work, Spirituality, and Social Practices. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 30(3), 187-192. 

Graham, J. R., & Schiff, J. W. (2010). Homelessness in Canada. Journal of Social Policy and Social Welfare, 37, 9. 

Schiff, R. & Waegemakers Schiff, J. (2010) Housing needs and preferences of relatively homeless Aboriginal women with addiction. Social Development Issues v32 (3), p  65 – 76.

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Schiff, R. & Schneider, B. (2010). Housing for the mentally disabled: beyond homogeneity. Canadian Journal of Urban Research. V19 (2), p 108 -229.

 Nicholson, C., Graham, J. Emery, H., Waegemakers Schiff, J., Giacomin. M.(2010).    Describing the health of the homeless population in downtown Calgary 2008 using results from the Vulnerability Index. Canadian Journal of Urban Research.  V19 (2) p 62 - 79.

Lane, A.M., Waegemakers Schiff, J., Suter, E., & Marlett, N. (2010). A critical look at  participation of persons with mental health problems in training mental health professionals within university education. Currents: New Scholarship in the Human Services. 

Barlow, C., Waegemakers Schiff, J., Chugh, U., Hides, L., & Leith, J. (2010). An evaluation of a suicide peer support program.  Death Studies. 34 (10) p. 915 -930.

Waegemakers Schiff, J. (2009). Development of a Measure of Organizational Culture in Mental Health, Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal. 5(2), p 89- 111.

Rawlinson, D., Waegemakers Schiff, J. & Barlow, C.  (2009). A Review of Peer Support for Suicide Bereavement as a Postvention Alternative. Currents: New Scholarship in the Human Services. 8 (2).

Waegemakers Schiff, J., Coleman, H., & Miner, D. (2008), Voluntary participation in rehabilitation: Lessons learned from a clubhouse environment, Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 27(1), 65-78.

Waegemakers Schiff, J., & Pelech,W.  (2007), The Sweat Lodge Ceremony for Spiritual Healing. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought 26(4), 71-93.

Powered by UNITIS. More features.