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Great Grants Alive! CFS’s Productive Summer Results in Large Number of Accepted Proposals

During summer 2014, CFS faculty and staff submitted 21 grant applications. So far, the results have been very positive!  A brief overview of each grant that has been funded is listed below.

Project ABA: Preparing Related Services Personnel in Applied Behavior Analysis for Children with Autism

Project ABA is a 5-year $1.06 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, which aims to prepare 20 highly qualified behavior analysts to contribute to evidence-based practices (EBP) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with autism. The project focuses on improving the quality of related services for high-need children with autism of all grade levels including preschoolers, which will result in improved learning and developmental outcomes and successful transition to postsecondary education and the workforce. Program support includes paid tuition (in-state rate), out-of-state tuition waiver for non-Florida residents, a yearly-stipend for full-time 12-month participation, and financial assistance for conference attendance and textbooks.  More information.

CFS Project ABA Team: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, PhD (PI), Kimberly Crosland, PhD, Tim Weil, PhD,  Andrew Samaha, PhD and Tracy-Ann Gilbert-Smith

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Miami-Dade IMPACT (Identify Measure and Prevent Addiction and Childhood Trauma)

CFS faculty will evaluate the IMPACT Project, which will measure progress related to the development and implementation of a regional partnership to address the specific needs of families with suspected or verified substance abuse, at risk of child removal due to maltreatment. As part of the evaluation, a randomized controlled trial will be conducted to determine whether use of the Engaging Moms/Parents Program (EMPP) intervention will prevent re-referral and deepening involvement in the child welfare system for these families and ultimately, improve children’s functioning and developmental outcomes.

CFS Project Impact Team: Linda Callejas, PhD (PI) and Svetlana Yampolskaya, PhD


Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.
The Florida Department of Children and Families Southern Region
Family Central Inc.
Federation of Families Miami-Dade Chapter, Inc.
South Florida Behavioral Health Network
University of South Florida Department of Child & Family Studies
University of Miami
Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance

Funder: Administration for Children and Families

Miami CARES Evaluation

The Miami CARES Project will provide greatly needed resources and structure to a community in the frontlines of the human trafficking battle, with a clear focus on services, needs, and policies to address child welfare involved victims. Outcomes expected of the Project include increased collaborative capacity among interagency partners; reduction in youth being recruited into trafficking; earlier identification of youth who have been trafficked; improved social, emotional, behavioral and health outcomes for youth victims; increased awareness and ability to identify and respond to risk factors among community stakeholders; consistent collection, sharing, and use of data to inform practice, policy, and decision-making; and the community and child welfare field at large will be able to access Miami CARES information, data, and findings.

CFS faculty will conduct the evaluation for the Miami CARES project. The results of ongoing evaluation activities will be used to provide continuous feedback to the project leadership and management team in order to enhance and improve the Miami CARES Project during its implementation. The evaluation will assess the overall effectiveness of the project including the achievement of project goals and objectives, the effectiveness of the infrastructure development and implementation processes, and the impact of the project on system and youth outcomes. 

CFS Project Miami CARES Team: Melissa Johnson, MA, MPH (PI), Mary Armstrong, PhD, Monica Landers, MSW


Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.
Florida Department of Children and Families
Citrus Health Network

University of South Florida Department of Child & Family Studies
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida
Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services
Miami Coalition for the Homeless
Florida Department of Children and Families Children’s Justice Act grant
Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney
Shared Hope International
Alliance for GLBTQ Youth
Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County

Funder: Administration for Children and Families

Function First: An Online Assessment and Intervention Tool to Reduce Runaways

A strong collaborative partnership between CFS and the Center for Social Innovation (C4) will result in the adaption of a USF assessment and intervention tool, the Functional Assessment Interview for Runaways (FAIR), into the first-of-its-kind product that will enable child welfare providers across the country to intervene with youth running away from foster care, thus reducing the number of runaway incidences. This Function First project, funded by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health, will provide opportunities to disseminate promising and best practices through web-based technologies.

This work builds upon a pilot study conducted by CFS’s Kim Crosland comparing a functional assessment interview tool with traditional assessment and interventions aimed at decreasing the runaway behavior of youth in foster care. Encouraging results from that study led to a 3-year grant in 2011 to fully develop the runaway assessment and intervention model and test its feasibility in child welfare settings.

CFS Function First Project Team: Kim Crosland, PhD (CFS), Kathleen Ferreira, PhD (C4)

Partner: Center for Social Innovation (C4)

Funder: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Now is the Time TA Center (NITT-TA)

As a result of the Fiscal Year 2014 “Consolidated Appropriations Act”, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing expanded support through several Now is the Time (NITT) initiatives to help meet the mental health needs of individuals, families and communities across the nation. To help ensure the success of these initiatives, a NITT-Technical Assistance Center has been funded. The Center for Applied Research Solutions, the University of South Florida, Change Matrix, and WestEd will work in partnership as the central hub through which 37 NITT grantees access and receive technical assistance and related services.

The Center Team and subject matter experts will support priority task goals of advancing wellness and resilience in education; supporting and expanding school and community based mental health services; increasing access to key systems for transitional age youth; state planning and policy development; cross-system collaboration; family and youth engagement; cultural and linguistic competence; and mental health literacy.

CFS faculty include Drs. Tom Massey and Donna Burton. Dr. Massey will serve as the center’s Technical Co-Director. He will contribute to the overall vision and leadership of the Center, provide technical leadership on the scope and content of services, strategic planning, leadership on the toolkit development and implementation, and communication and coordination of the technical approach with SAMHSA. He will also contribute to training content, product development, and program evaluation, including development of evaluation and data collection systems. Dr. Donna Burton will provide content expertise in the areas of young adult mental health, home and community-based systems of care, school climate, youth substance use and violence prevention, co-morbidity, and implementation science.  She will also help guide content, instrument, and curricula development and contribute technical guidance on the practical environments of TTA users.

NITT-TA CFS Project Team: Tom Massey, PhD (Co-Director), Donna Burton, PhD Kerrilyn Scott-Nakai (CARS)

The Center for Applied Research Solutions
University of South Florida Department of Child & Family Studies
Change Matrix

Funder: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

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