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Janet Yorke

Janet Yorke

130 Bellfarm Road, Barrie Administration Office


Jan’s has worked as an agency director, trainer, consultant and clinician allowing her to acquire skills in community development as well as individual, group and family counseling. She has worked frontline in downtown Toronto with homeless individuals in the communities of Parkdale and Moss Park for 13 years. She was the director of a withdrawal management service in Simcoe County for nine years. Jan facilitated the consultation process for the development of the HIV/AIDS strategy for the province of Nova Scotia in1999.   She was a faculty member at the Centre for Continuing Education at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, for 11 years and she was given an ‘Excellence in Teaching’ (1998) award for her work. She received (1991) an award for her contributions to the addictions and mental health industry from the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Federation. She is a recipient (2001) of the President’s Shield Award from the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Association for her contributions to teaching frontline workers.
Her research program currently focuses on the neurobiology of therapeutic communication in human animal interaction.  She has an interest in substance use and abuse, First Nations paradigms in social work, ecological social work and the development of clinical skills in frontline social workers.


  • Wilfrid Laurier University (BA)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University (MSW)
  • University of Tennessee (PhD)

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor


My research interests centre around the environmental aspects of change, specifically therapeutic communication and other aspects of therapeutic milieus. This includes the utilization of environment (rural settings, non-human species, support networks) on healing,change and/or development. Biobehavioural interactions, dual representation (helper/client reciprocity) and how humans find that in professional and non-professional interactions as well as complimentary and alternative interventions are of interest. Children and other vulnerable or marginalized groups are the populations focused on.


Book Chapters

Yorke, J., Byrch, L., Ham, M., Craggs, M. & Shute, T., 'Queering Space in Social Work: How Simcoe County moved from Queerful to Queerious' (2017). Chapter in Hillock, S. & Mule, N., Queering Social Work , UBC Press.Strand, E.B.; Poe, B.; Lyall, S.; Allen, E.; Nimer, J., Yorke, J.; Brown, G.; Nolan- Pratt, T. (2012). Veterinary social work: A specialized social work practice. In Fields of Social Work Practice: A Foundation of Social Work, Wiley Publishing, Hoboken: N.Y.

Journal Articles