School of Arts

Dr Rumyana Kudeva

Position: Lecturer
Study area: Community and Human Services, Social Work (Q)
Location: Berwick Campus, Room 130E
Phone: 5122 6224


Doctor of Social Work - University of Pennsylvania, USA - 2015

Master of Social Work – University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria - 2004

Bachelor of Social Work - University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria - 2002



  • Bachelor of Community and Human Services
  • Master of Social Work (Qualifying)


  • Social Policy: Development & Impact (MSWPG 7210)
  • Professional Social Work Practice (MSWPG 7102)
  • Theories and Practices for Group Work (CHSUG 2001)
  • Models of Case Management (CHSUG 2004)


Rumyana is a lecturer in the Master of Social Work (Qualifying) and Bachelor of Community and Human Services programs at the School of Arts. She joined Federation University Australia in October 2018 moving from the USA. Previous to Federation University, Dr Kudeva worked at Eastern Washington University where she was an assistant professor of Social Work, teaching courses in the Bachelor and Master of Social Work programs. Rumyana brings an extensive social work practice experience which includes case management and outreach to at-risk youth and young adults, child and adolescent mental health, family services, crisis services to people with intellectual disabilities, maternal and women’s mental health services, couples and family counselling, community outreach and education. Through her dissertational research, Rumyana became involved with issues around women’s psycho-social well-being during their childbearing years, and specialised in working with women and their families prenatally and during the postpartum period. She has been a Regional representative for the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers, and an active member of other organisations involved in maternal mental health. Rumyana has presented on women’s psychological experiences during childbirth and postpartum at various professional and academic conferences    internationally and in the USA. Her contributions to the field include the development and delivery of various professional workshops around women’s mental health and childbirth experiences to social workers, counsellors, medical childbirth professionals and educators, and doulas.

Areas of expertise

Rumyana’s research is informed by her professional practice and training as a social worker. She is drawn to qualitative research methods which allow the participants in the study to become co-creators of the research and the narrative. Her approach to research is informed by feminist theories and participatory action research. Rumyana has continuous research interest in developing trauma-infused education across different human service disciplines and has worked towards implementing some of her pedagogical findings in various courses across the social work curriculum. In addition, she continues to contribute to the field of psychology of childbirth and women’s studies, focusing on interdisciplinary education of the professionals involved in women’s lives during their childbearing years.

Research interests

  • Trauma, loss, and grief across the lifespan/Post-traumatic growth
  • Trauma-informed interventions and systems/ Trauma-infused social work education
  • Child and adolescent mental health and counselling
  • Women’s reproductive rights and mental health/ Perinatal social work
  • Interdisciplinary research and education


Book chapters

Kudeva, R. (2015). Disenfranchised grief following negative childbirth experiences. in: Walter, C. & McCoyd, J. Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan: A Biopsychosocial Perspective. Second Ed. Springer Publishing

Refereed journal articles

Kudeva, R., Halaas, B., Kagotho, N. & Biswas, B. (under review).  Optimal Birth Interval and Empowerment: A Closer Look at Women’s Agency in Kenya. TBA

Kudeva, R. (forthcoming). Autoethnography of immigrant mothering – motherhood lessons from strangers.

Kudeva, R. (forthcoming). Disenfranchised grief of the lost dreamed-of birth – heuristic inquiry into women’s lived experience.

Refereed conference proceedings

Kudeva, R. 2018, ‘Optimal Birth Interval and Attitude towards Intimate Partner Violence: A Closer Look at Kenya through a Nationally Representative Survey’, in Proceedings of the Society for Social Work and Research Conference 2018, Washington DC.

Conference/symposium presentations

Kudeva, R. (Dec 207). Disenfranchised grief and loss of the dreamed-of birth. Lunch with a scholar series, 2 hour presentation at the 20th International Congress APPPAH, San Diego, CA.

Kudeva, R. (Nov 2017). Disenfranchised grief in women following the loss of their dreamed-of birth. 2017 Midwives Alliance of North America Annual Conference, Long Beach, CA.

Kudeva, R. (July 2017). Trauma informed perinatal palliative care. 8th Annual Palliative Care Forum, Walla Walla, WA (invited speaker).

Kudeva, R. (July 2017). Immigrant mothers – motherhood lessons from strangers. International MIRCI conference, Galway, Ireland.

Kudeva, R. (July 2017). Grieving the loss of the “dreamed-of” birth – not just another birth story. International MIRCI conference, Galway, Ireland.

Kudeva, R. (May 2017). Finding their voices – disenfranchised grief in women after losing their dreamed-of birth. Thirteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Kudeva, R. (Apr 2015). Women’s mental health during the reproductive year. Presentation at the monthly meeting of the Tristate Birth Professionals group, Cherry Hill, NJ.

Kudeva, R. (May 2013). Disenfranchised grief in postpartum women – A heuristic inquiry into women’s lived experience of loss of the dreamed-of birth. Paper presented at the annual academic conference of the Museum of Motherhood, NYC, NY.

Professional workshops

Kudeva, R. (Dec 2017). Disenfranchised grief and loss of the dreamed-of birth. APPPAH 20th International Congress, 4 hour workshop, San Diego, CA.

Kudeva, R. (Mar 2017). Perinatal mental health – new research findings and evidence based practices. NASW-WA 3 CEUs approved workshop, Spokane, WA.

Kudeva, R. (Sept. 2015). Understanding mental illness in persons with developmental disabilities – providing person centered crisis intervention services. Training presented to law enforcement at the 65th Crisis Intervention Team Training for Camden County, NJ.

Kudeva, R. (May 2015). Crisis intervention with people with developmental disabilities in psychiatric crisis. Training presented to law enforcement at the 64th Crisis Intervention Team Training for Camden County, NJ.


  • Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Association For Prenatal And Perinatal Psychology And Health
  • National Association of Perinatal Social Workers
  • Society for Social Work Research
  • Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement