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Gale Burford
Visiting Faculty or Scholars

Gale Burford

Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Restorative Justice
Center for Justice Reform

PhD, University of Stirling, Scotland, Sociology & Social Policy, 1990

MSW, University of Washington, 1971

BA, St. Martin's University, Olympia, Washington, 1968

Curriculum Vitae

Gale Burford


Gale Burford is Emeritus Professor at the University of Vermont (2014) and recent Distinguished Visitor at the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. Until his retirement from University of Vermont in 2014, he was Director of the University-State Child Welfare Training Partnership and Principal Investigator for the Vermont Community Justice Consortium.

Professor Burford has held full-time appointments in Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Vermont, and visiting appointments at the University of Stirling in Scotland and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published on a wide range research activities, including those that focus restorative justice and family engagement interventions -- particularly in situations of child abuse and interpersonal violence, the use of drug courts, reparative probation with adult offenders, a youth-run community living program, group care and residential treatment programs, differential treatment approaches, teamwork, and organizational change. His current writing focuses on restorative justice and responsive regulation, results garnered from a multi-year, multiple-methods study of one US state’s efforts to incorporate participatory and restorative practices into its child welfare and youth justice services, and the use of restorative approaches in city and state efforts to coordinate services.

He advises and supports a number of projects and programs and provides training and evaluation for programs that employ partnership approaches to their work, such as the Leeds, UK, evaluation of the use of family group conferences and other restorative practices, serves on the advisory board for the On The Move Partnership, a project of the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health & Safety Research based at Memorial University, and is a member of a team supporting the development of an International Learning Community based on the use of restorative approaches initiated by colleagues at Dalhousie University. His career in Social Work began in 1968 in the State of Washington where he also completed undergraduate (St. Martin’s University) and graduate degrees (MSW University of Washington), shifted to a decade of work in Québec before moving to Newfoundland & Labrador. His doctorate is from the University of Stirling in Scotland. Professor Burford’s professional life has revolved around practice, regular study, teaching and research in international venues but particularly in Canada, the USA, Northern England and New Zealand.

He has experience in public service as a foster and group home parent, caseworker and social work practitioner, trainer, and supervisor, manager and senior administrator in services for children, young people and their families and conducted private practice of individual, group and family counseling for 25 years. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his spouse Kathy.

Professor Burford is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Restorative Justice at the Vermont Law School where he is assisting in the school’s effort to develop new degree programs in restorative justice.


(2018). Family engagement and social work in statutory settings. In T. Maschi & G. Leibowitz (Eds.), Forensic social work: Psychosocial and legal issues across diverse populations and settings (2nd edition) (pp. 389-410). Springer Publishing.