Dr. Rainford is nationally recognized for his work as a social justice advocate and administrator in social work education. He has received numerous honors, including the Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year, National Association of Social Work-Idaho Social Worker of the Year, and the Boise State University Larry Selland Humanitarian Award. His scholarly work focuses on social development, social work pedagogy, and poverty in America. Previously, Rainford was director of the Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Prior to that, he was director of the Master of Social Work Program at Boise State University. He co-authored legislation that created Missouri Family Development Accounts with Michael Sherraden, director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.