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How to Use Graphs and Data to Inform and Engage Community Partners, Thursday, February 22, 2018

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How to Use Graphs and Data to Inform and Engage Community Partners
Elliott G. Smith, research associate, BCTR and Residential Child Care Project

Thursday, February 22, 2018
9:00-10:30 AM
102 Mann Library



Researchers are increasingly conducting studies in community settings and applying for grants that require documentation of real-world impact. Indeed, some funders now require components such as dissemination plans, stakeholder engagement, or community participation. To meet these new demands, researchers may wish to collaborate with non-academic groups and craft research questions and results that inform practice or policy. This year the BCTR continues our series of interactive workshops sharing the center’s extensive experience conducting research in real-world settings and translating empirical findings into practice. Each workshop addresses a key challenge that researchers face in doing translational research and provides practical tools for overcoming obstacles to conducting effective translational research. The workshops are open to all Cornell faculty, staff, and graduate students.

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Collaboration lowers incidence of physical restraint for youth in care

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Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith

Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Two BCTR researchers have been working with a Connecticut child welfare agency to implement and evaluate a program that promotes evidence-based approaches in supporting troubled youth. The Cornell researchers and two agency administrators published the results of their collaborative effort in March in the journal Child Welfare under the title “Benefits of embedding research into practice: An agency-university collaboration”.

Since 2009, Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith, members of the research team for the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP), have consulted with Waterford County School in Connecticut, which provides residential and day care to youth with mental health problems, behavioral issues, addiction and emotional problems.

A team of agency executives, clinicians, supervisors and staff members worked with RCCP staff and consultants to learn about and implement the Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change (CARE) program model.  The CARE model is a research-informed framework created at the BCTR by Martha Holden and her RCCP colleagues that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships between caregivers and youth.  Nunno and Smith were part of the effort to examine if CARE was making a difference in the day-to-day life of the children and staff. 

After the school implemented the program, agency administration reported a substantial decrease in physical restraints among the school’s residential population.  Physical restraints are safety interventions that hold a youth in order to contain physical behavior that is likely to result in injury to the youth or others.  They are, however, not without risks to both the child and the staff since they can have harmful or even fatal consequences. 

“The wonderful thing about the Waterford Country School from an evaluator’s perspective is that it has a thirty-year history of collecting and publishing administrative data on measures that matter to practitioners,” Nunno said.  Our job was to portray the data in relevant and meaningful ways so that it could inform practice, soften professional resistance to change, and add to the growing evidence that relationship-based, trauma-informed practice models can create safe and therapeutic physical spaces.”

“By examining the data, we documented a 48 percent decrease in restraint events within Waterford’s residential and shelter settings,” he said. “We were able to verify the staff perceptions and narratives that the Waterford agency was becoming a safer, calmer place.” 

Yet not all Waterford programs saw this decline.  “The day-school data showed an increase in restraints in the corresponding time frame,” Nunno said.  “Although we were all surprised at this finding, our analysis triggered the agency leadership to examine the children’s social and emotional regulation needs.  They involved day-school teachers and children’s families who designed unified approaches to meet those needs.  Within months of implementing these strategies we saw a significant decrease in the use of restraints.”

The partnership between RCCP and the school demonstrates RCCP’s success at monitoring and detecting problems, guiding solutions, improving practice, supporting learning organizations, and contributing more broadly to evidence-based practice. 

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Talks at Twelve: Charles Izzo and Elliott Smith, Thursday, March 10, 2016

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Creating Conditions for Healthy Development in Residential Youth Care Settings: Recent Findings from the CARE Program
Charles Izzo and Elliott Smith, BCTR

Thursday, March 10, 2016
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



In their talk, Drs. Izzo and Smith will describe results from a multi-site evaluation of Children and Residential Experiences (CARE), a program that helps residential care agencies follow a set of evidence-informed principles in order to improve their child care practice. They will summarize the program design and the results from an 11-site study, which used an Interrupted Time Series (ITS) design to demonstrate a decline in behavioral incidents resulting from CARE’s 3-year implementation. They will also discuss the ITS as a powerful evaluation option for human service agencies that wish to make good use of their administrative data.

 

Charles Izzo is a research associate in the BCTR studying the multi-level processes by which programmed interventions influence human functioning and health. Currently, his work focuses on factors that influence the quality of interactions between those in the helping professions (youth workers, home visitors) and the clients they serve, and translating research knowledge into useful tools for practitioners and administrators.

Elliott Smith is associate director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and a developmental psychologist with a passion for quantitative data who applies statistical methods to data from many sources, including administrative databases and surveys. His goal is to understand factors that impact youth-caregiver relationships and to make science-based contributions to the practice wisdom of human service professionals, educators, and parents.

 

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall. No registration or RSVP required except for groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at pmt6@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

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Income inequality linked to higher rates of child abuse and neglect

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Eckenrode

BCTR director John Eckenrode is lead author of a new article, Income Inequality and Child Maltreatment in the United States, published in February in the journal Pediatrics. Eckenrode, who also serves as director of the BCTR's National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN), co-authored the article with NDACAN researchers Elliott Smith, Margaret McCarthy, and Michael Dineen. The article reports findings from a study comparing substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect with nationwide county-level data on income equality and poverty, covering 3,142 U.S. counties. The study concluded,

Higher income inequality across US counties was significantly associated with higher county-level rates of child maltreatment. The findings contribute to the growing literature linking greater income inequality to a range of poor health and well-being outcomes in infants and children.

In a Cornell Chronicle article on the findings, Eckenrode is quoted, saying,

... reducing poverty and inequality would be the single most effective way to prevent maltreatment of children, but in addition there are proven programs that work to support parents and children and help to reduce the chances of abuse and neglect – clearly a multifaceted strategy is needed.

Support for the study came from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Income inequality and child maltreatment in the United States - Pediatrics
Child abuse and neglect rise with income inequality - Cornell Chronicle
Child abuse rises with income inequality, Cornell study shows - Ithaca Journal
More kids struggle where the income gap widens - Christian Science Monitor
Rising child abuse linked to rising income inequality, study reports - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kids may suffer in gaps between haves and have-nots - Reuters

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Student Workshop: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 2, Monday, April 1, 2013

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SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 2
Ellott Smith and Mandy Purington, BCTR

Monday, April 1, 2013
1:30 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Come and learn about SPSS, an often-used quantitative statistical analysis program with Elliott Smith and Mandy Purington. This overview workshop is aimed at those new to SPSS and will provide an orientation to the program, including setting up a database, entering data, and running basic analyses.

This the second in a two-part workshop.

 

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Student Workshop: SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 1, Friday, March 29, 2013

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SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 1
Elliott Smith & Mandy Purington, BCTR

Friday, March 29, 2013
2:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Come and learn about SPSS, an often-used quantitative statistical analysis program with Elliott Smith and Mandy Purington. This overview workshop is aimed at those new to SPSS and will provide an orientation to the program, including setting up a database, entering data, and running basic analyses.

This is a two-part workshop. The second section will be held on Monday, April 1st at 1:30 PM in the Beebe Hall conference room.

 

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Student Workshop: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 2, Friday, October 19, 2012

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SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 2
Ellott Smith and Mandy Purington, BCTR

Friday, October 19, 2012
1:30-2:30pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Come and learn about SPSS, an often-used quantitative statistical analysis program with Elliott Smith and Mandy Purington. This overview workshop is aimed at those new to SPSS and will provide an orientation to the program, including setting up a database, entering data, and running basic analyses.

This is the second in a two-part workshop.

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Student Workshop: SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 1, Thursday, October 18, 2012

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SPSS: An Overview of the Quantitative Statistical Analysis Program, Part 1
Elliott Smith & Mandy Purington, BCTR

Thursday, October 18, 2012
2:30-3:30pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Come and learn about SPSS, an often-used quantitative statistical analysis program with Elliott Smith and Mandy Purington. This overview workshop is aimed at those new to SPSS and will provide an orientation to the program, including setting up a database, entering data, and running basic analyses.

This is a two-part workshop. The second section will be held on October 19th from 1:30-2:30pm in the Beebe Hall conference room.

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Elliott Smith presents to the Child Welfare Information Gateway

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On March 30, Elliott Smith, Associate Director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect gave a webinar to the staff of the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Like the Data Archive, the Gateway is a service of the Children's Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to "connect professionals and the general public to timely, essential information and resources targeted to the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families." The Gateway frequently refers researchers, graduate students, and child welfare professionals to the Archive. During the webinar, Dr. Smith gave an overview of the Data Archive, including a description of its services, an explanation of what secondary analysis is, and the datasets that the Archive distributes most frequently to the research community.

Overview of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect

 

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