Janice Harris Lord decided to be a social worker in 1961, the summer after her Junior year in High School, when she traveled through the South at the back of the bus, befriending black passengers and their children. Later that summer she experienced poverty as she had never seen it before in Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Janice became determined to stand with those who had no or limited rights, not knowing what form that might take.
Janice received her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Phillips University and her MSSW degree from University of Texas at Arlington. She is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). She is a Fellow in Thanatology with the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
Janice began her career standing with neglected children as a CPS worker in Dallas. In 1982, she turned her focus to victims of drunk driving crashes as National Director of Victim Services for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a position she held for 14 years. She developed the Victim Services program nationally and for the states, a position that included developing publications that are still being used by MADD today. She founded the magazine, MADDvocate. In 1993, Janice received the U.S. Presidential Award for “Outstanding Service on Behalf of Victims of Crime” from President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno.
Janice left MADD in 1997 and opened a private practice, also serving as a consultant for a number of crime victim organizations with special interest in trauma-related bereavement, resilience in clients and caregivers, ethics in victim services, and the role of spirituality in human services. She helped develop the curriculum for the first National Victim Assistance Academy sponsored by the US Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, wrote the curriculum for the first Texas Victim Assistance Academy, and served for several years as a consultant to the 34 State Victim Assistance Academies throughout the nation. She was also a member of the National Victim Assistance Standards Consortium, which developed standards and ethics for the emerging field of Crime Victims Services.
In 2007, Janice co-founded Trauma Support Services of North Texas, a non-profit organization that provides professional trauma therapy to those without insurance or other ability to pay. The program utilizes 8 paid therapists and 33 volunteer therapists who agree to see one client/family at a time pro bono in exchange for the opportunity to attend the organization’s monthly trauma therapy trainings for free.
Janice also became a member of the Board of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 2008, where she continues to chair the Victim Issues Committee.
The 7th edition, 22nd printing of her book, No Time for Goodbyes: Coping with Sorrow, Anger, and Injustice After a Tragic Death, is being released in March 2014, and it’s Spanish version (Sin tiempo para decir adiós) was released in late 2012. She is also co-author of two books published in 2008: Spiritually Sensitive Caregiving: A Multi-Faith Handbook and I’ll Never Forget Those Words: A Practical Guide to Death Notification. In addition, she has published many journal articles, curricula, brochures, booklets, research reports, and other publications.