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Past Projects

These projects are projects that have been completed within the past five years. For older projects, please go to Resources/Archived Reports

Children Affected by Methamphetamine

Principal Investigator: Jody Brook, PhD

Research Staff: Yeuqi Yan, GRA; Margaret Lloyd, GRA

Children Affected by Methamphetamine (CAM) was a federally-funded project in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, implemented to improve the services offered to children at the Tulsa County Family Drug Court.  This project implemented a novel and promising strategy: offering two evidence-based parenting programs to parents sequentially. The evaluation utilized some of the most rigorous methods in child welfare research, as well as an innovative mixed methods approach to evaluation that included outcomes, cost analysis, and formative evaluation. Amount funded: $1,480,000 over 4 years (subcontract amount approximately $183,500 over 4 years). The project began in 2010 and continued through 2014.

Community-Based Development of a Pilot Program to Promote Health Among Urban Latino Youth in a School-Based Setting

Principal Investigator: Michelle Johnson-Motoyoma, PhD; Paula Fite, PhD; Michelle Levy, AM

Research Staff: Mindi Moses, GRA; Tiffany Koloroutis, MSW Research Fellow

Positive youth development programs can prevent adolescent pregnancy and substance use by building skills, strengthening the family, engaging youth in meaningful roles and activities, and communicating expectations. Moreover, positive youth development programs may achieve an economy of promotional and preventive effects by addressing common risk factors across a variety of youth outcomes. The purpose of this study was to develop and implement a pilot program to prevent adolescent pregnancy, HIV/STIs, and substance use among Latino youth in Kansas City, Missouri, through community-based research with students, teachers, and school administrators. This project was funded by the University of Kansas Strategic Initiative Grant Program.

Published articles from this research:

Fite, P., Hendrickson, M., Evans, S., Rubens, S., Johnson-Motoyama, M., & Savage, J. (2014). Associations between proactive and reactive subtypes of aggression and lifetime substance use in a sample of predominately Hispanic adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(6), 388-406. doi: 10.1080/1067828X.2012.748440

Fite, P. J., Gabrielli, J., Cooley, J. L., Haas, S. M., Frazer, A., Rubens, S. L., & Johnson-Motoyama, M. (2014). Hope as a moderator of the associations between common risk factors and frequency of substance use among Latino adolescents. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. doi: 10.1007/s10862-014-9426-1

Fite, P., Johnson-Motoyama, M., Rubens, S., & Peaches, A. (2013). Risk for being a teen parent: The influence of proactive and reactive aggression in a sample of Latino youth. Child Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s12187-013-9217-3

Enhancing Medicaid Service to Families of Children With a Serious Emotional Disturbance; Family-Directed Structural Therapy

Principal Investigator: Chris Petr, PhD

Project Manager: Tami Radohl, LSCW

Project Staff: Kim Murphy, PhD; Tara McClendon, PhD; Don McClendon, LCSW, LMFT, PsyD; Mun Ju Kang; and Aislinn Conrad-Hiebner

Project Dates: Jul 2009 - Jun 2011

In FY 2009 and 2010, the project titled, Enhancing Medicaid Case Management Services to Seriously Emotionally Disturbed Children and their Families: Utilizing the Family-Directed Structural Assessment Tool, evaluated the effectiveness of Family-Directed Structural Therapy (FDST) provided to Medicaid eligible youth and their families. This project took place at COMCARE, the Sedgwick county community mental health center (CMHC). In FY 2011, KUSSW finalized data collection, analyzed data, and completed reports to present final outcomes. Overall, the evaluation did not establish the effectiveness of the intervention with respect to the outcomes measured. However, the behavior and functioning of children in both groups did improve to a statistically significant degree highlighting the efficacy of COMCARE case management services.

Kansas Serves Substance Affected Families

Principal Investigator: Tom McDonald, PhD.; Jody Brook, PhD.

Project Dates: 2007-2012

This is a federally funded initiative in Kansas between the State’s DCF, the KU School of Social Welfare, The State’s Addiction and Prevention Services, and the regional child welfare service providers. This initiative provided 2 targeted services in the area of substance abuse and child welfare: Implementing and evaluating the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) statewide for substance abuse affected families with children in foster care. Rigorously conducted evaluation results showed that SFP participation resulted in an average of 190 fewer days in foster care placement for participant children. Statistically significant changes in child, parent, and family functioning were also documented—including reduced substance use by parents. At an average out-of-home care rate of $86 per child per day in Kansas, SFP saved approximately $16,340 per participating child in out-of-home care costs. From a cost–benefit perspective, every $1 invested in SFP yielded an average savings of $9.83. As a result of this implementation, SFP services are now required of child welfare contractors in Kansas. Development and maintenance of the Independent Living Website:  This website was developed to target older youth in foster care who are transitioning into adulthood.  Website content focused on substance abuse prevention and life skills enhancement.  The website contains information, stories and resources targeted for these high risk youth. 

Mapping the Black Box of Family Drug Courts

Principal Investigators: Toni Johnson, PhD; Jody Brook, PhD

Research Staff: Margaret Lloyd, GRA: Molly Jones-Peterman, GRA

This participatory study utilized concept mapping to address a significant gap in the family drug court literature by investigating the importance of various components to the drug court model from the perspective of family drug court (FDC) participants. The study also sought to understand the extent to which important elements are available to participating family drug courts so that relevant recommendations may be provided. Data was collected at the FDC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the FDC in Kansas City, Missouri, two sites that have demonstrated measurable success. The study was funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Professional Resource Family Care

Principal Investigator: Michelle Levy, AM

Research Staff: Cheryl Homes, MPA (Project Consultant); Ashley Palmer, MSW (GRA)

The purpose of this project was to conduct a comprehensive review of Professional Resource Family Care (PRFC), an HCBS/SED Waiver service that supports a child’s short-term stay in a specially trained, licensed family foster home that provides co-parenting with the child’s parent or legal guardian. This study examined what PRFC was, how it was being used, and if it appeared to be a promising community-based alternative to more restrictive treatment settings. This study was funded through a partnership with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services that began in September 2013 and ended in July 2014.

Comprehensive Review of Professional Resource Family Care (pdf)

Understanding the Experiences of First-Time Fathers during Pregnancy and the Year after Birth

Principal Investigator: Jeff Edleson, PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Research Staff: Juliana Carlson, PhD

The purpose of this project was to understand the experience of first time fathers’ transition to fatherhood, particularly their need for formal support. This project was funded by the Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station Project MIN 55-019 and Title IV-E Child Welfare Training funds. The project ended in August 2014.


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