G. Allen Ratliff

G. Allen RatliffAssistant Professor

Office: 101H McGuffey Hall


Dr. Ratliff (they) studies power dynamics through social ecologies that contribute to marginalization, violence, and health disparities. They pay attention to multiscalar social processes and social determinants of health, from micro-level, downstream outcomes affecting people’s lives to macro-level, upstream factors and systems. Dr. Ratliff is a critical, queer, place-based, person-centered, post-structuralist scholar, whose participatory research approaches with transgender young people and young people experiencing homelessness have centered young people as the experts of their own experiences. Dr. Ratliff uses qualitative and geospatial methodologies to better understand how power, policy, violence, and marginalization operate in the lives of marginalized and vulnerable young people. Dr. Ratliff’s teaching emphasizes trauma-responsive, social-ecological, person-centered perspectives in social work practice, supporting social work students in learning to observe and understand the complexities of how the social environment impacts the everyday lives of the people they serve.


Ph.D., School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
MSW, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois-Chicago; Certificate in Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Children and Adolescents
BA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Selected Publications and Presentations

Ratliff, G. A., Sousa, C. A., Graaf, G., Akesson, B., & Kemp, S. (2022) Reconsidering the role of place in health and welfare services: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and Canada. Socio-Ecological Practice Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42532-022-00111-z

Place-Based Research: Why place matters. CRSP Talk podcast.
With Bree Akesson, Genevive Graaf, Susan Kemp, and Cindy Sousa
October 15, 2021. Centre for Research on Security Practices, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ratliff, G. A., & Kelly, B.L. (forthcoming). Strengths-Affirming Social Work Practice with LGBTQ Youth​. In M. P. Dentato (Ed.). Social work practice with the LGBTQ community: The intersection of history, health, mental health and policy factors. Second Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gómez, A.M., Hooker, N., Olip-Booth, R., Woerner, P., Ratliff, G. A. (2021) “It’s Being Compassionate, Not Making Assumptions”: Transmasculine and Nonbinary Young Adults’ Experiences of “Women’s” Healthcare Settings. Women’s Health Issues.

Gómez, A.M., Đỗ, L., Ratliff, G. A., Crego, P.I., & Hastings, J. (2020) Contraceptive beliefs, needs, and care experiences among transgender and nonbinary young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health. doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.03.003

Ratliff, G. A. (2019). Social work, place, and power: Applying heterotopian principles to the social topology of social work. Social Service Review, 93(4), 640-677. doi.org/10.1086/706808

Chambers, J., & Ratliff, G. A. (2019). Structural competency in child welfare: Opportunities and applications for addressing disparities and stigma. The Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 46(4), 26.

External funding

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Research Grant from University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 2021-2022. Awarded $100,000 for one year. Constructing a Measurement Index of Incorporation Status to Evaluate Health Disparities in Unincorporated Communities. Role: Co-Principal Investigator.

Internal funding

EHS Research Seed Grant (2021-2022). Awarded $3,325. Families Facing
Trans-Exclusive Policy Violence Targeting Children. Role: Principal Investigator


University of California Dissertation Year Fellowship 2020-2021 (competitive award)
Markowski-Leach Scholarship. 2019, 2020.
Dissertation Completion Fellowship. 2018. University of California, Berkeley ($18,000)
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor. 2018. School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley

Courses Taught

  • FSW 306: Trauma-Responsive Assessment and Intervention
  • FSW 406: Group Work Theory and Practice