Rachael Dietkus is a social work designer, systems thinker, and the founder of Social Workers Who Design. Her experience spans 20+ years of guidance and advocacy with social justice non-profits, the federal government, and higher education. Her civic and public engagement work has spanned from local to international leadership on rights-based advocacy in a variety of public service capacities with AmeriCorps, the City of Urbana, the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism, and Community Service, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Council.
Rachael is a licensed clinical social worker, certified clinical trauma professional, and a fellow with the Social Work Health Futures Lab. Her interest and passion for integrating social work ethics with design-centric methods started while pursuing her MSW in 2008. She has worked closely with designers from all over the world and focuses on guiding design teams on trauma-informed and trauma-responsive practices throughout the entire design research process. Rachael’s design work is heavily influenced by social work values and principles that holistically center on how and why we design.