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Event celebrates program that helps youth in care

Tags: CARE,   Martha Holden,   RCCP,   residential care,   youth,  

photo of a handmade sign reading "CARE in Action Day" with a blue balloon tied to itBy Sheri Hall for the BCTR

The Hillside Family of Agencies hosted their first annual CARE in Action Day this month at their Varick campus to celebrate how CARE, the Residential Child Care Project’s program model that promotes evidence-based approaches in supporting troubled youth, has transformed their practice.

The Varick Campus, which provides residential care for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges, adopted the CARE program model in 2007.  CARE stands for Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change. The model is a research-informed framework created by the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) at the Brofenbrenner Center that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships between caregivers and youth.

The celebration included a showcase of student artwork, a keynote speech by a former resident, a performance by The Youth Voice Band, and seminars explaining how the CARE program model works.

“It was pure joy to be included in the CARE event,” said Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project and creator of CARE. “The engagement of staff, children, and their families made for an exciting and poignant day.  It was very emotional – the mother speaking, the keynote, the youth band – such a visual representation of the powerful and important work that is happening at Varick.”

CARE is used in more than 50 agencies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, all collecting data and contributing to the on-going development of the knowledge base of what works in residential care.

The CARE model improves the social dynamics in residential care settings by engaging staff in a systematic effort to provide developmentally-enriched living environments, create a sense of normality, and improve the socio-emotional and developmental outcomes for children.

The CARE model is based on six core principles:  relationship-based, trauma-informed, developmentally-focused, competency-centered, family-involved and ecologically-oriented.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CARE    Martha Holden    RCCP    residential care    youth   

RCCP awarded $2.9 million to evaluate Syracuse schools intervention

Tags: children,   Debbie Sellers,   education,   RCCP,   school,  

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

The BCTR’s Residential Child Care Project received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate a program that helps teachers manage aggressive and challenging behavior among students in the Syracuse City School District.

BCTR researchers will be evaluating a program called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools, or TCI-S, which trains school staff how to use trauma-informed practices to anticipate and de-escalate disruptive behavior, manage aggression, and help students learn social and emotional skills. To provide the organizational support that teachers need, TCI-S consultants will work with district and school leaders to expand and develop new policies and procedures that provide monitoring, supervisory, and clinical assistance to teachers

The project will begin in January and run for four years.

portrait of Debbie Sellers

Debbie Sellers

“This grant provides us with a wonderful opportunity to help struggling schools and build the evidence base for our longest-standing program – Therapeutic Crisis Intervention,” said Debbie Sellers, director of research and evaluation for the Residential Child Care Project.

Almost half of children in the Syracuse District live at or below the national poverty threshold. Living in poverty increases a child’s risk of being exposed to trauma and other adverse childhood experiences.  These exposures often impair the development of executive and social-cognitive functions that play a central role in learning and the regulation of emotions and social behavior, Sellers said.

“Teachers need skills and strategies that help them interact with students in ways that promote self-regulation of emotions and behavior,” she explained. “The TCI-S program trains teachers on how to prevent and de-escalate crises and teach students constructive ways to deal with stressful situations.”

For this project, BCTR researchers will conduct a randomized-controlled trial in 19 elementary and kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools to determine whether TCI-S leads to fewer disciplinary infractions in schools.  They will also conduct a longitudinal qualitative interview study of school staff about how they practice TCI-S and their perceptions of school safety and climate.

TCI-S is part of the BCTR’s Residential Child Care Project, which translates current research into programs that are designed to improve the quality of care for children in group care settings, schools, juvenile justice programs, foster care, adoptive families, and community-based programs.

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    Debbie Sellers    education    RCCP    school   

Workshop: 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



As researchers share their discoveries outside of academia, graphs and data visualizations are valuable methods of communication. When done well, these visualizations can inform by providing context and focusing attention. Before they can influence decision-making and guide effective action, however, they must rely on data that are relevant, timely, and trustworthy. These are key criteria for community organizations who are committed to effective implementation.

In this workshop, participants will

  1. learn about the Data – Understanding – Action pathway,
  2. review common data presentation mistakes that community partners find disengaging, and
  3. discuss guiding principles, tools, and techniques for creating engaging graphs.

Smith will provide examples from his own work, and participants are encouraged to share their own stories.

Elliott G. Smith is a research associate in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research,  and a statistician and CARE data specialist with the Residential Child Care Project.

Registration is now closed

Please contact Lori Biechele at lb274@cornell.edu if you'd like to join the waiting list.
Breakfast will be served.
This workshop is open to all Cornell faculty, staff, and grad students.


event-htdrrws-event-image2Part of an interactive workshop series

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 series of interactive workshops shares the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research’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.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Elliott Smith    How to Do Research in Real-World Settings    RCCP    workshop   

CARE program gains key endorsement

Tags: CARE,   Martha Holden,   RCCP,  

rccp-logo-cropThe Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change (CARE) program has earned a scientific rating of 3 from the California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, which indicates that the program is supported by promising research evidence.

The CARE model is a research-informed framework created by the BCTR's  Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) designed to enhance the social dynamics in residential care settings to serve the best interests of the children. The model involves an ecological approach to engage all staff at a residential care agency in a systematic effort to provide developmentally-enriched living environments, to create a sense of normality, and to improve the socio-emotional and developmental outcomes for children.

“Attaining this level 3 scientific rating has been a goal since CARE’s inception in 2005,” said Martha Holden, RCCP director and creator of CARE. “Twelve years ago, we set on this path and we have been working toward this goal ever since.”

The plan going forward, Holden explained, to continue to study the CARE model to advance its rating to Level 2, which indicates it is supported by research evidence, by implementing and studying the program at residential facilities throughout North America. “We know this will take at least an additional five years under the best of circumstances,” she said.

“Recent questioning of the appropriateness and effectiveness of residential care has led to the need to define and build a sound foundation for quality services for high-resource needing children and youth with multiple challenges,” Holden said. “Quality therapeutic residential care requires adherence to a system-wide, evidence-based program model.  With continued development and research of the CARE model, the Residential Child Care Project hopes to provide additional evidence to improve the quality of residential care.”

CARE is used in more than 50 agencies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, all collecting data and contributing to the on-going development of the knowledge base of what works in residential care.

The CARE model is based on six core principles that care should be:  relationship-based, trauma-informed, developmentally-focused, competency-centered, family-involved, and ecologically-oriented.

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CARE    Martha Holden    RCCP   

Collaboration lowers incidence of physical restraint for youth in care


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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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: article    collaboration    Elliott Smith    evaluation    Michael Nunno    RCCP    research    residential care    youth   

Spring 2017 Talks at Twelve


This semester we welcome speakers from across campus and across the U.S. for our spring 2017 Talks at Twelve series. Talks at Twelve are held in the Beebe Hall second floor conference room and lunch is served. These talks are free and open to all. No RSVP or registration is required, but notice is appreciated if a larger group is planning to attend (email pmt6@cornell.edu).

Wednesday, February 22, 12:00-1:00pm
Mental and Behavioral Health Facilities: Critical Research and Design Recommendations
Mardelle M. Shepley, Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University

comfortTuesday, March 7, 12:00-1:00pm
Beyond the Peer-Reviewed Article: Making Research Relevant for Community Stakeholders and Policymakers
Megan Comfort, Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division, Research Triangle Institute

Thursday, March 16, 12:00-1:00pm
Pain and Presence: The Clinical Use of Media
Andrea Stevenson Won, Communication, Cornell University

Thursday, April 13, 12:00-1:00pm
Healthy Base Initiative: Evaluating Programs to Encourage Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles, and Tobacco-Free Living
Marney Thomas, BCTR, Cornell University

Thursday, April 20, 12:00-1:00pm
Data Driven Policy-Making in Child Welfare
Dana Weiner, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago

Tuesday, April 25, 12:00-1:00pm
Weill Cornell Behavioral Geriatrics: Cognitive Impairment in Hospitalized Adults & Palliative & Mental Health Care
Elissa Kozlov and Keiko Kurita, Weill Cornell Medical College

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Holden receives lifetime achievement award

Tags: award,   international,   Martha Holden,   RCCP,   training,  

holden

The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Career Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a career commitment to the profession of human service training and development; making significant contributions in terms of leadership, new ideas and education as measured by improved organizational outcomes, impact on the field, or improvement in national best practices at a state or national level. This year’s award recipient is the BCTR's Martha Holden, director of the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP). Martha has made significant contributions to human services through training and development activities throughout her working life.

Over the course of her career, Martha has trained thousands of human service professionals and, through her training of trainers, indirectly impacted many more throughout the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Australia. As noted in her nomination letter, some of her many contributions and achievements include:

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving as a founding steering committee member of the Ohio Committee for Child Care Worker Training, creating various certification systems and curricula for child and youth care workers
  • As director of the RCCP, she oversaw:
    • The development of several curricula used throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia, including:
    • Organizing RCCP International Conferences focusing on child safety and training.
    • The development and use of an organizational development/systems approach. In addition to the training-of-trainers model, the RCCP recognizes the role of training within the organizational system. The RCCP uses tools such as organizational climate inventories to assess the readiness for change and evaluate the impact of training and other organizational interventions such as coaching and team-building. The RCCP curricula is not viewed as a stand-alone intervention but part of a more comprehensive organizational intervention.
  • Serving as co-project leader of the North American Certification Project, Martha co-led the initial efforts to organize more than 100 volunteers to develop the North American certification system.
  • Conducting evaluation and research activities providing evidence of the effectiveness of the RCCP curriculum and organizational interventions
  • Co-authoring publications and conference presentations of research with program, curriculum, and policy implications, for example:
    • Holden, M.J., Izzo, C., Nunno, M., Smith, E., Endres, T., Holden, J.C., & Kuhn, F. (2010). Children and residential experiences: A comprehensive strategy for implementing a researched-informed program model for residential care. Child Welfare, 89(2), 131-149.
    • Nunno, M.A., Holden, M. J., & Tollar, A. (2006). Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities. Child Abuse & Neglect:  An International Journal, 30(12), 1333-1342.
    • Nunno, M. A., Holden, M. J., & Leidy, B. (2003). Evaluating and monitoring the impact of a crisis intervention system on a residential child care facility, Children and Youth Services Review, 25(4). 295-315.
  • Developing an international cadre of certified trainers

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(5) Comments.  |   Tags: award    international    Martha Holden    RCCP    training   

Conference explores Building a Community of Practice

Tags: children,   conference,   RCCP,   residential care,   youth,  

news-2015rccpconf-inpostThe Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) hosted its fourth international RCCP Conference this summer in Lake George, NY. The conference brings together professionals who work with vulnerable children and families to explore ways to provide the best care for the populations they serve.

Approximately 250 people from 13 countries, including Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Bermuda, Ireland, Burundi, Israel, Switzerland, Uganda, and South Korea, as well as 18 different states, attended.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Building a Community of Practice, the event encouraged conversation and collaboration through a variety of workshops, community of practice forums, and social events. The unique format included:

  • Community of Practice forums where professionals met in facilitated groups to share experiences and learn from each other.
  • Children and Family Experiences sessions where attendees heard the voices of children, families, and adults who live or have lived in care settings.
  • Stories of Practice sessions where professionals could record their stories of experiences with children and families in order to share them with other professionals.  RCCP plans to release the stories of practice recordings in a series on their web site.
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) program instructors and Children And Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change (CARE) practice model consultants were available to answer questions about their program's implementation and training.
  • Workshops on understanding self-injury, research, proposal writing, trauma and healing, CARE principles and implementation, TCI implementation, threshold concepts, TCI training innovations using modern media, and many others.

The conference opened with a performance of original songs by The Hillside Youth Voice Band, made up of children in care from the Varick Campus, which is part of the Hillside Family of Agencies in Rochester, NY. Songs included,“I’m Gonna be Me,” “Can You See Who We Are,” and “You Make a Difference.”

Highlights included presentations by Anthony Burrow on Purpose in Life: Evidence of a Psychological Resource, Howard Bath on Translating Trauma: From Complexity to Clarity, Junelei Li on Simple and Deep Right Before Our Eyes – Simple Interactions as the Active Ingredient for Human Development, Xavier McElrath-Bey with No Child Is Born Bad, and John Lyons on Managing the Business of Personal Change: Transformation Collaborative Outcomes Management.

Keynote speaker Xavier McElrath-Bey has noted,

My childhood traumas of living in poverty, having a mother diagnosed with mental illness, living in fear of an abusive step-father, and being placed in and out of foster care made me ripe for the occasions of impulsive and destructive behavior -- especially gang involvement which gave me the sense of having a new family.

I am a firm believer that no child is born bad...and that all children deserve another chance for positive change.

The final event of the conference, was the panel presentation Children and Families Speak out on “What Works.” The panel was moderated by James Anglin and featured youth and young adults formerly in care and parents of children/youth who have been in care facilities. Panelists spoke of the pain and difficulties surrounding being in care, but also of facility staff that helped and encouraged both the youth in care and their families.

Please see the conference page for further information, including some presentation powerpoints.

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    conference    RCCP    residential care    youth   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Charles Izzo, Thursday, June 21, 2018

Charles Izzo View Media

Doing Translational Research podcast: Charles Izzo

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Charles Izzo
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Charles Izzo
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Charles Izzo    doing translational research    podcast    RCCP    Superstar Practitioner Project   

Regional CARE events share findings from 5-year study


RCCP director Martha Holden addressing attendees

RCCP director Martha Holden addressing attendees

The BCTR’s Residential Child Care Project (RCCP) disseminates model techniques and systems to prevent institutional child abuse and neglect. The RCCP’s CARE Model guides childcare agencies to support safe environments, strong programmatic elements, and a wide-variety of treatment programs and interventions that are trauma-sensitive and developmentally appropriate.

Supported by The Duke Endowment, the RCCP is completing a 5-year multi-site study of the CARE Model by analyzing data and writing papers to disseminate study outcomes. Additionally, the RCCP set up a series of Community of Practice regional events to share the new information with their CARE agencies, allowing agencies and the RCCP to not only learn from the research, but from one another in a collaborative way through discussion and networking.

One such Community of Practice regional event took place on August 12, 2015 at Waterford Country School in Connecticut.  RCCP staff began by providing the context for the research. Specifically, Debbie Sellers (BCTR director of research and evaluation) gave a presentation explaining translational research (TR) and the RCCP approach to TR.  Charlie Izzo (RCCP research associate) described the CARE Theory of Change, which outlines the change processes RCCP facilitates at each agency, and how these relate to the expected measurable outcomes.

Next, RCCP staff summarized the results from three related CARE studies. Charlie Izzo described the results of a study conducted across 11 agencies demonstrating that CARE implementation led to an average decline in three types of behavioral incidents: aggression toward staff, aggression towards peers, and property destruction. Izzo also presented findings from a study across 13 agencies demonstrating that CARE implementation led to a significant improvement in youth reports of the quality of their relationship with agency direct care providers. Finally, Michael Nunno co-presented with representatives from an experienced CARE agency about a study they conducted together. These findings replicated and extended the findings of the Duke study, demonstrating that CARE led not only to fewer behavioral incidents, but also fewer physical restraints and less frequent use of psychotropic medication.

The Connecticut audience was a diverse group, including agency administrators, program managers, and supervisors, as well as board members and those in research/evaluation roles. Of particular interest to attendees was the finding that as relationship quality improved, behavioral incidents decreased.  This information would support, encourage and validate the efforts of front line staff.  

Attendees were actively involved throughout the day in helping to clarify the interpretation and practical significance of the findings, and proposing future research directions that would help inform their efforts to implement CARE and better meet the needs of children and families. For example, during a discussion about their unique roles in implementing CARE, clinicians realized that they are a natural group to educate agency direct care staff about applying CARE principles in their daily work.  RCCP staff is incorporating this clinician input into a tool in development that measures implementation quality across agency sectors.  Agency clinicians also stimulated discussion about developing a tool to specifically assess practices that clinicians use to strengthen CARE implementation and sustainability over time.

The day ended with a series of interactive small-group discussions about the essential elements within the CARE implementation process led by Lisa McCabe and Frank Kuhn that were most likely to lead to positive outcomes and long-term sustainability. The ideas generated through these discussions not only helped the CARE team refine its implementation processes, but also pointed the way toward several promising research questions.

William Martin, executive director for Waterford was particularly pleased with the opportunities that this event provided for his staff, “I want to say that being asked to host this event provided an opportunity for my staff that they never could have gotten any other way,” and that RCCP “continues to do things that change our lives here at Waterford Country School and I could not be more appreciative.”

Two additional Community of Practice regional events were held on May 20, 2015 in Statesville, NC and on October 15, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Charles Izzo    Debbie Sellers    Frank Kuhn    Lisa McCabe    RCCP    translational research   
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