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Professor Judith R Smith
Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service

Director of Developing Images



I am a professor of social work at Fordham University and the director of Developing Images. I teach on both the Foundation level (HBSE) and advanced level courses in the clinical area. I have produced five films for social work education over the past 6 years. The films are unique because they are specifically made for social work education by a professor of social work.

In my classes, I appreciate being able to use film segments that can illustrate social work processes and stimulate class discussions. Yet, I am often frustrated when I want to add audiovisual materials into my classroom, as most are too long and require that I preview each film and select a small slice of the film to augment my lectures. I also have difficulty with many of the social work training films that use “experts” to illustrate practice issues; as students often feel removed from these older well-trained professionals. In addition, most of the films that highlight experts include white older males, while the demographics of social work students are primarily younger students, often people of color. The two films in the “Becoming a social worker” series, use real students as the highlighted social workers, allowing students to more easily relate to people like themselves, who were not “perfect” but still “good enough”. I also used “real” clients to make the material more accessible to the students’ real life internships. The HBSE and Macro practice films highlight older adults, who are often excluded in social work films about practice or policy.

Prof. Judith Smith


Other film credits include:

WELFARE-TO-WORK: THROUGH THE EYES OF MOTHERS. Executive Producer. Rockland Department of Social Services, 2001. A twenty-minute video on the experiences of mothers with young children as they transition from welfare-to-work. Distributed by Developing Images, LLC.

 THE MOTHER'S CENTER. Co-Producer, Director and Editor. Family Service Association, 1985. A twenty minute video illustrating the philosophy and implementation of a neighborhood program for young mothers.

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BIRTH OF THE HUMAN INFANT. Post-Production Producer, Director and Editor. The Margaret S. Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation, 1983. A series of three films illustrating infant development within the first three years of life.Distributed by the Margaret Mahler Psychiatric Research Foundation.

THE WOMAN’S FILM. Cinematographer and Editor. San Francisco Newsreel, 1971. A documentary on the development of the early women’s movement, with a focus on its impact on working class women and women of color. Distributed by Third World Newsreel, NYC.



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