Social Worker, Writer & Devoted Advocate Dr. Barbara Ella Milton Receives Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award

Barbara Ella Milton, Jr., a clinical social worker and supervisor, social work educator, child welfare advocate, activist, social media producer and resilience expert, has been an impactful social change agent for the wellness of at-risk youths and families for decades. She earned a degree in social work from Seton Hill, a master’s from Rutgers University and her doctorate from The City University of New York. 

Barbara has worked in a variety of settings on behalf of high-risk children, families and young adults, sharing her knowledge as an educator and mentor at graduate schools in the New Jersey/New York metro area. Barbara was a contributor to the “Confessions of a Welfare Mom” series and co-authored the book, “The Great Pause: Blessings and Wisdom from COVID-19.”  She produced and hosted “The Dr. Milton Social Work Show” on Comcast Public Access and YouTube to educate the community about social welfare issues and the social work profession. 

Now retired, Barbara lives with and actively manages bladder cancer, spending her time writing books, articles for newspapers, peer-review journals and anthologies on mental health. In November 2021, she released “Heeding the Caregiver Call: The Story of Barbara Ella Milton, Sr. and Alzheimer’s Disease.” The book is a memoir about her mother, whom she lost to the disease in 2019. She calls the book “a love story” about mending their relationship during her mother’s illness.

Barbara’s current book collaboration, “Inherited Wisdom: Drawing on the Lessons of Formerly Enslaved Ancestors to Lift Up Black Youth,” was released in May 2022. This text underscores how practitioners and lay people alike can highlight the strength, fortitude, resilience, and community found in the narratives of enslaved forebears to help young people recover hope for the future. 

Barbara volunteers with several professional associations and serves on the boards of nonprofits concerned with issues of women and girls and disadvantaged youth. She is a tireless advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is the last co-chair of the National Association of Social Workers, New Jersey Chapter, Hudson County Unit and was named 2014 Social Worker of the Year.

Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award, established in 1987, is one of the highest honors given to a graduate. Setonians have been named distinguished alumni for their leadership in education, business, science and technology, the arts, volunteerism and philanthropy.