Dr. Crooks is the Director of the Centre for School Mental Health and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her main research interests include the development and evaluation of mental health promotion and violence prevention programming, with a particular emphasis on extending evidence-based practice to meet the unique needs of marginalized groups of youth in diverse settings. She and her team are currently working on adaptations and evaluations of the Healthy Relationships Plus program for LGBT2Q+ youth in school and community settings, as well as looking at fit and feasibility in the youth justice system. Another major focus of her work is on developing and evaluating culturally-relevant, strengths-based approaches with Indigenous youth. More recently, she was awarded a grant to evaluate MindUP with kindergarten students, within a trauma-informed framework. MindUP is an evidence-based social and emotional learning program that incorporates positive psychology, neuroscience, and mindful awareness.
Dr. Crooks’ other main focus is on family violence. She is a co-founder of the Caring Dads program, which is a parenting intervention for men who have maltreated (or are at-risk to maltreat) their children. She also trains judges, lawyers, and other court professionals as a faculty member for the U.S. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and for the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. In 2005, Dr. Crooks testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on the extent to which Canada is meeting its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2016 Dr. Crooks was appointed to the Scientific Committee for the Status of Women Canada, to advise the federal government on the state of research evidence pertaining to the prevention of gender-based violence.
Dr. Crooks received her B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University.