Desirée Luerene Israel is a 3rd year PhD student in the Center for Social Work Education at Widener University in Chester, PA.

Her research interests include perinatal mental health and the Black birthing experience, foster care independent living programs for teen parents, village/co-parenting relationships of Black unpartnered parents and secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout in Black birthworkers.

Desirée has 14 years of experience working in child welfare/foster care and 7 years of experience specializing in perinatal mood complications.

Prior to attending Widener, Desirée received a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from Morgan State University and worked for several years in public and private child welfare agencies and outpatient mental health clinics.