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CFS Keeps the Presses Rolling with Reports and Training Kits

Training Kits Makes Change Easier for Those who Care for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Nila Benito and Cecilia Ramirez, along with contributions from Brenda Finkelstein, Carole Geibel, Linda Montgomery, and Margie Russell, have developed a training kit to help smooth transitions for students with disabilities as they move from one grade to another, or from one school to another. This kit contains guidelines for making sure these potentially traumatic changes take place with minimal stress for everyone involved. For additional information about the kit Transition Strategies for Teams Supporting Students with Disabilities, contact Nila Benito at (813) 974-7875 or Cecilia Ramirez at (813) 974-7926.

CFS Designs Strategies to Find and Keep Foster Families

This month, CFS staff Tina Chambers, Maridelys Detres, Sharon Lardieri, Kathy Lazear and Steve Roggenbaum are completing the final report on the Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment and Retention Project funded by the Florida Dept. of Children and Families' Office of Family Safety.

CFS staff have worked with the Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies to study what it takes to recruit and retain foster parents for children and youth in out-of-home care. CFS staff conducted a total of 6 focus groups, 5 group interviews and 38 individual interviews, including foster care parents, children in foster care homes, Department of Children and Families staff and staff from other agencies involved in foster care and adoption.

This report will recommend recruitment and retention strategies to meet the increasing demand for foster and adoptive parents. For additional information, contact Kathy Lazear at (813) 974-6135.

Data Trends Identifies Latest Research

Data Trends are produced to increase the dissemination of current research findings in the area of children's mental health services. Each issue summarizes a current publication in the children's mental health area to alert the field to current findings and activities. A citation is given with each summary so the readers will be able to retrieve the original document for further examination. To view previous summaries, visit the RTC website at http://rtckids.fmhi.usf.edu/rtcpubs/datatrendshp.htm. For additional information, please contact Catherine Newman at cnewman@hal.fmhi.usf.edu.

KIDS COUNT Focuses on Youth Suicide in Florida

As part of ongoing efforts of the Florida KIDS COUNT to focus on realities of children's futures in this nation, a brochure is now available that highlights the Florida Youth Suicide Prevention Study that was conducted within CFS by Kathy Lazear and Steve Roggenbaum. The brochure also contains additional data and findings from other leading sources, such as the National Survey of America's Families, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Disease Control, and Florida Department of Education. Contact Susan Weitzel at (813) 974-6416 for a copy, or visit Florida KIDS COUNT's website: http://floridakidscount.org where a PDF version will soon be available.

Evaluation Report Measures Success of Teen Pregnancy Prevention

The Outcomes for Students Enrolled in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs in Hillsborough County evaluation has just been completed by CFS's Svetlana Yampolskaya.

Data was collected from 237 girls, 8 to 16 years of age, who participated in local school and YMCA prevention programs. A report was presented to the WAGES Coalition of Hillsborough County, who funded the evaluation, and includes specific recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the program. For additional information, contact Svetlana Yampolskaya at (813) 974-8218.

Report Recommends Next Steps for SEDNET

Al Duchnowski and Krista Kutash have completed a report, SEDNET: Strategies for the Future, which summarizes findings and recommendations from a project undertaken to assist the SEDNET State Advisory Board and Florida Department of Education in planning for the future. The primary goal of this project was to ensure that future SEDNET activities will be consistent with state-of-the-art, empirically validated approaches to improving outcomes for children who have serious emotional disturbances and their families, and that resources are effectively deployed in a manner reflecting accountability. For additional information, contact Al Duchnowski at (813) 974-4618 or Krista Kutash ast (813) 974-4622.

The Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) is a department of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The faculty and staff of CFS are committed to enhancing the development, mental health and well-being of children and families through leadership in integrating research, theory & practice.

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