Kayla Richards is a licensed graduate social worker with diverse educational and professional experiences. She has worked primarily in institutional settings within child welfare with a special interest in family systems and the influence of historical and generational trauma on the intergenerational transmission of maladaptive attachment styles and coping.
She currently holds positions at Hennepin County in Criminal Mental Health Court and at Allina Health. Kayla has served on a number of committees targeting institutional diversity and inclusion, and has collaborated with community agencies to collect and compile data on the intersections of: race, incarceration, and obstacles those transitioning from prison to the community face.
Kayla is naturally drawn to community organizing and engagement, and centers herself professionally and personally within relationship. Kayla received her Bachelor’s degree at Macalester College in 2010 and her Master’s degree at the University of St. Thomas & St. Catherine University in 2017, graduating Summa Cum Laude with research, “Social Work or Social Control: Power, and the Values and Contradictions in Social Work Practice and the American Indian.” Kayla is a Diversity in Social Work Advancement Scholar alumna and enrolled member of the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe.