Rachael Dietkus, MSW, LCSW

Rachael Dietkus headshot

Rachael is a macro-focused clinical social worker focusing on trauma-responsive practices in design. She is the founder of Social Workers Who Design, a consultancy focused on responsible, ethical, trauma-conscious practices in design worldwide. She is a two-time alumna of UIUC, where she studied Sociology and Social Work.

In 2019, Rachael pursued studies on trauma-informed design research as part of UIUC’s MFA Design for Responsible Innovation program. She is currently on sabbatical from the program to serve as the first social worker-design with United States Digital Service. Rachael is also working on her first book about trauma and design with MIT Press.

Over the past 23 years, Rachael has been a social worker in the federal government and higher education, with an emphasis on systems redesign, healthcare, and housing advocacy with Veterans and social service agencies, macro and clinical preparation with social work students, and human-centered design teaching with a range of engaged learners. She has served as an AmeriCorps member, NGO delegate to the Human Rights Council, and is currently a Governor-appointed statewide Commissioner with Serve Illinois.

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