Fatherhood Research and Practice Network Grant

CARHD is proud to announce the receipt of a competitive state planning minigrant under CARHD faculty PI Dr. Kari Adamsons, in partnership with CT Dept. of Social Services. The purpose of the minigrant is to conduct focus groups with fathers across the state of Connecticut who receive services from state agencies, to assess areas of strength and areas of need and to inform the state Fatherhood Commission’s strategic plan. Funding is provided by the  Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN). FRPN is a six-year project (2013-2019) awarded to the Temple University School of Social Work and the Center for Policy Research, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (#90PR0006). Its purpose is to build the evidence base in the fatherhood field, disseminate research findings on fatherhood programs and promote the use of research-based practices by fatherhood programs. Congratulations Dr. Adamsons!

New CARHD Project with UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health

CARHD received seed funding from UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health for a 2019 project titled “Truancy Prevention Efforts to Interrupt the School to Prison Pipeline”. This joint project between Beth Russell (CARHD) and Tammy Freeberg (The Village for Families and Children) will study program services and outcomes related to truancy prevention to reduce juvenile justice involvement in Hartford given recent policy changes per PA 16 147. Their project centers on informing future intervention development through stakeholder interviews with program staff, participants/families, and policymakers.

Parenting Apart Parent Education Program is now offered through CARHD

The Center for Applied Research in Human Development is the new home to the Parent Education Program, a court-ordered parenting class for divorcing parents. During monthly classes, parents learn how to buffer the impact of divorce on children, as well as techniques for keeping communication child-focused and positive after separation occurs. For more information, please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Beth Russell (beth.russell@uconn.edu).

Certification in Family Life Education (CFLE) through CARHD

The Center for Applied Research in Human Development is the new home to the Certification in Family Life Education, a course-based option for undergraduate students to receive a nationally recognized designation. The National Council of Family Relations (NCFR) has approved the program, offered through department in Human Development and Family Studies, awarding the distinction to students who demonstrate their training in the study of healthy individual and family functioning with an emphasis on prevention and intervention science. For more information, please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Beth Russell (beth.russell@uconn.edu).

CARHD welcomes a new Director

The Center welcomes Dr. Beth S. Russell as the new Director as of June 1, 2018. Dr. Russell has been affiliated with CARHD since 2003, as a graduate student affiliate, and rejoined our community in 2011 when she joined the faculty. As the program coordinator for the Certificate in Family Life Education, Dr. Russell brings a commitment to training the next generation of community engaged scholars and years of experience in structuring their field placement experiences. Her research focuses on emotion regulation, specifically, the development of self-regulation often in the context of parent-child relationships; she studies this process in both normative and atypical populations, most recently in the study of mindfulness interventions to improve individual and family outcomes for those with chronic illnesses (e.g., chronic pain and substance use disorders).

Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Sabatelli!

The Center for Applied Research in Human Development congratulates Dr. Ron Sabatelli on his retirement!

As one of the founding researchers that established CARHD, Dr. Sabatelli’s deep knowledge and breadth of expertise has been crucial to the enduring strength of the Center. We wish him all the best in his new adventures on the shore and sea with his family. We will look forward to consulting with him on future projects!

Technical Report on Child Welfare Trajectories for Crossover Youth

This report provides the findings from the first phase of a project designed to identify and describe characteristics of crossover youth in Connecticut. These findings are part of a project that combines data from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), The Child Protection (CP) Division of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, and the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) of the Juvenile Branch. In this work, Crossover Youth (COY) is a term that describes youth who at any point in childhood are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The study found that crossover rates were highest among: males, minorities (African American, Hispanic), youth with out-of-home placements, youth with repeated involvement in DCF, and youth who were older at first contact with DCF. The report also identifies five trajectories of DCF involvement that influence crossing over. Read the full report here.

Center staff release a research brief on universal housing screening

Most families in child welfare are living in poverty and many experience housing concerns. Connecticut is one of five national demonstration sites engaged in Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing (SH) for Families in the Child Welfare System. Researchers from the Center are engaged as evaluators of the project. As part of the demonstration, a housing screen was completed on all families undergoing an investigation in one part of CT. The full report of the initial results was released in April. The current research brief highlights the results and addressee the implications and recommendations that came out of this phase of the project. The housing screen was found to be effective, quick, and easy. Implementing a prompt, universal screening of families in child welfare ensures a housing lens is applied early in a family’s involvement. The continued use of the QRAFT will help CT better understand the overlap in housing and child welfare concerns, enable allocation of housing resources, and inform policy to address the shortage of safe, stable, and afforable housing for families.

Center researchers release a research brief on crossover youth

Policymakers, front line staff, and researchers are well aware that there is overlap between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Crossover youth (COY) is a term to describe youth who are served by both systems. To better understand this population in Connecticut, the Department of Children and Families, the Child Protection Division of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, and the Court Support Services Division of the Juvenile Branch partnered to share data from their respective systems. This data set of 7,268 DCF-involved youth was provided to researchers at the Center for analysis. The Center’s report indicates that 16.6% of DCF-involved youth had subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, it was found that youth with persistent involvement with DCF throughout childhood and into adolescence were at a particularly high risk for juvenile justice involvement. Read the full report here.

Center staff release a report on universal housing screening in child welfare

Center staff release a report on universal housing screening in child welfare. Most families referred to child welfare live in poverty and many experience housing concerns. Connecticut is one of the five national demonstration sites engaged in federally-funded Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing (SH) for Families in the Child Welfare System. Staff of The Center are engaged as evaluators of the project. From November to January, a housing screen was administered to all families undergoing a child welfare investigation in one part of CT. The purpose was to ensure every family underwent housing review early in their child welfare involvement. The Center’s report indicates that, among substantiated cases (n=98), 21.4% had significant to severe housing barriers and 12.2% had unsustainable housing challenges. Extrapolating these numbers to the rest of the state, an estimated 1035 families might present with significant or severe housing concerns, and an additional 641 might present with moderate housing concerns. The report discusses policy, systems, state, and project implications of the study. This work was featured in the Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center newsletter.