Dada Maglajlić met Burt Galaway, who at the time worked at the University of Minnesota, at the 1985 World Congress of Victimology that was held in Zagreb, Croatia. As Director of the PhD Program at University of Minnesota, Burt Galaway was interested in developing a set of courses within the IUC related to social work theory and practice. It took two years to design the program which was initiated in 1987, after formally approaching the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Both organisations provided active support and Vera Mehta, Secretary General of the IASSW at the time, actively participated in the Course Social Work and Spirituality.
First three courses were offered as part of the academic year 1989/90. Fourth course was added a year later and throughout the period 1990 - 1996 course directors worked diligently to preserve the program returning promptly to Dubrovnik after the siege, as well as staging different courses in Budapest, Zagreb, Brijuni Islands, Seattle and Philadelphia. In 1997, the course series returned to Dubrovnik with five different courses, adding a new course every two years. The original plan was to offer a set of eight courses staying open and flexible regarding growth and transformation related to each section of the overall programme. Dada M. Maglajlić served as school organising director, founder and editor of the IUC Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice until 2010 when she retired.
Having completed her BA at the University of Zagreb with rewards as the best student at the School of Special Education and the whole University, Dada Maglajlić went on to complete a MA in social psychology and rehabilitation counselling at the Michigan State University in 1970, as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon return to Croatia in 1970, she initially taught social work at University of Zagreb and at the pedagogy programme at the University of Osijek. Having returned to Zagreb in 1975, she worked as the Senior Consultant at the Institute for Social Welfare of Croatia, where she worked until 1993.
During this period, she was involved in numerous collaborations with practitioners and service users in Croatia, across former Yugoslavia and internationally, as well as occasional lecturer in social work, both in Zagreb and internationally (e.g. at the Mediterranean School of Alcohol and Other Dependencies, the Institute of Anthropos, Athens, Greece, and School of Medicine, University of Trieste, Italy). She had a very intensive international career with consulting and lecturing for UNICEF and other UN organisations, International Council on Social Welfare, WHO Mental Health Division, European Council, Defense for Children International, and many others. She was also the founder of Special Olympics in former Yugoslavia in the 1980s.
In late 1993, she moved to the USA, and worked initially as the Clinical Director at the Esperanza Counselling and Referral Centre in Seattle (until 1995). She then became a Professor at the Bemidji State University, a post from which she retired, as a Professor of Social Relations and Services, in 2010. Dada Maglajlić is a single author of one book (abbreviated version of her Ph.D. in social work), single editor of four books (one printed in English), and co-editor of five books (four were printed in English). She also contributed a chapter or two for the books edited by her colleagues.