David W. Springer, Ph.D., LCSW

David W. Springer, Ph.D., LCSW

University Distinguished Teaching Professor

Dr. David Springer is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2001 to 2011.

Dr. Springer’s social work practice experience has included work as a clinical social worker with adolescents and their families in inpatient and outpatient settings and as a school social worker in an alternative learning center with youth recommended for expulsion for serious and violent offenses.  More recently, he has focused his efforts on the reform of juvenile justice systems and the delivery of community-based services with youth in the United States and Brazil. His work spans across direct practice, community building, system reform, research, and leadership.

Dr. Springer has conducted research funded by various sources, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the RGK Foundation. He has co-authored or co-edited ten books, with his most recent book entitled Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. He has also authored or co-authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and reports that primarily coalesce around juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, and interventions with youth.

He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, including a Freshman Seminar entitled The Art of Being Human: Constructing a Life with Meaning, in which students explore how individuals create a meaningful and happy existence. Dr. Springer has received a number of university-wide teaching awards for recognition of excellence in teaching and advising, including the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, and selection into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

In 2007, he served as Chair of a Blue Ribbon Task Force consisting of national and regional leaders, which was charged with making recommendations for reforming the juvenile justice system in Texas. In recognition of his work with the Blue Ribbon Task Force, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Texas Chapter/Austin Branch selected Dr. Springer as the 2008 Social Worker of the Year.

He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Girls and Gangs for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Scientific and Policy Advisory Council for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the Advisory Council for Children of All Nations Adoption.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Juvenile justice and delinquency; forensic social work; clinical assessment and interventions with adolescents; community-based services with youth; applied psychometric theory and scale development; and leadership in social work higher education.


  • Ph.D., Florida State University
  • M.S.W., Florida State University
  • B.A., Florida State University

Teaching History

Faculty Research


Social Work Building

Phone:(512) 471-0512
Fax:(512) 471-9600

Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358