August 2016 Newsletter

 

Applications for Cohort Seven Now Open

Do you know a doctoral student whose research focuses on promoting the health and well-being of children and preventing child maltreatment? Applications to join Cohort Seven of the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being are now open! Doris Duke fellows receive an annual stipend, mentoring from academic and policy leaders as they complete their dissertation, and opportunities to collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of like-minded doctoral students who are future leaders and change agents in the field of promoting the well-being of children. We encourage you to share this information with those in your networks who may be interested.

We will host an application webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 2016, from 12:00-1:00 PM CST. The webinar content will focus on the purpose of the fellowship, eligibility, dissertation topics, performance expectations, mentor roles and expectations, and application and selection process. There will be ample time for questions. Register for the webinar here.

Please visit the Apply section of our website to download application materials, view frequently asked questions, and learn more about the fellowships. The deadline to apply for Cohort Seven is December 1, 2016. Please email ddfellowships@chapinhall.org with any questions.

Check Out Our New Website!

The new Doris Duke Fellowships website is up and running! Did you know that you can search for fellows who have expertise in specific content, methods, and population areas? Visit the Expertise page to learn more about our fellows’ areas of expertise!

If you have ideas for features you’d like to see on the website, or would like to update the information on your personal page on the website, please contact Sarah Wagener, Fellowship Network Coordinator, at swagener@chapinhall.org.

Pew Charitable Trusts’ Home Visiting Data Initiative Meeting at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

A group of 10 nationally prominent stakeholder experts in the field of home visiting met in July at Chapin Hall as part of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Home Visiting Project. The group’s objective was to discuss and select indicators in child development and parental capacity to be implemented in the home visiting programs of several pilot states. Over the course of two days, the group made great progress in developing a short list of measurement tools and refining a rationale for adoption of the indicators to elevate home visiting practice across the field. Deborah Daro, Senior Research Fellow at Chapin Hall and Chair of the Doris Duke Fellowships, serves as co-Principal Investigator of the Pew Home Visiting Data Initiative project in partnerships with Sacha Klein, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Michigan State University. The convened experts included researchers, representatives from prominent national home visiting models, and project directors from state managing agencies. Final selections and insights from this interdisciplinary group will be included as recommendations in a future report for Pew Charitable Trusts to disseminate to states and those in the field of preventing child abuse and neglect.

Featured Fellow Interview: Dr. Elizabeth Shuey

Dr. Elizabeth Shuey, a Cohort Three Doris Duke Fellow, is currently a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Policy Fellow and is the 2016 recipient of the Student Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 37. This award is given annually to someone whose dissertation explores issues of service delivery, social policy, social welfare, or advocacy for children, youth, and families. Elizabeth completed her award-winning dissertation in 2015, receiving her Ph.D. from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. For the past year, she has served as an Executive Branch Fellow in the Office of Planning and Research Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

Sarah Wagener, Fellowship Network Coordinator at Chapin Hall, connected with Elizabeth to learn more about her work as an SRCD Policy Fellow and how her experiences as a Doris Duke Fellow influenced her current work.

Sarah Wagener (SW): What motivated you to apply for the SRCD Policy Fellowship?

Elizabeth Shuey (ES): I applied for the SRCD Policy Fellowship for the same reason I applied for the Doris Duke Fellowship: to use research to serve children and families through policy and practice. I was interested in the SRCD Policy Fellowship for a long time before I was eligible to apply because I wanted to learn more about how research intersects with social policy at the federal level, and about how to disseminate and translate research so that it is most useful outside of an academic setting.

SW: SRCD Policy Fellows are placed in either Congressional or Executive Branch Fellowships. It seems like great learning and the potential to create change could happen in either fellowship. Did you select the Executive Branch and/or the Office of Planning and Research Evaluation (OPRE) as your placement as part of this fellowship?

ES: SRCD Policy Fellows go through a matching process with host offices. I had been interested in OPRE’s work for a long time; I was, and still am, thrilled that my placement there was possible. OPRE is a great place to work, with a long history of supporting fellows. I work in our Division of Child and Family Development, which is a perfect fit for my research interests. Our division works on many topics related to children and families, but our major portfolios relate to early childhood programs (child care and Head Start) and child welfare. Still, I definitely agonized for a bit over the placement possibilities before it all fell into place!

SW: What are your responsibilities in your role at OPRE? What do you like about the work you do? What challenges you in the work you do?

ES: We work very much as teams on each of our projects at OPRE, which I really enjoy. Not only do I work with colleagues who are equally committed to improving programs and service for low-income families, I get to work on a variety of projects with varying degrees of responsibility. One of the first things I took on was serving as the Program Specialist for our Head Start Graduate Student Research Scholars dissertation grants. I’ve also taken the lead on writing a request for proposals for a new research project, worked on our internal Methods Team to plan for our ongoing methodological training in the office, and served as a liaison for the Office of Early Childhood Development at ACF. As I hoped when I applied for the fellowship, I am learning lots about sharing research with diverse audiences, but this is definitely still a challenge for me.

SW: How has your experience as a Doris Duke fellow influenced your current work?

ES: Being a Doris Duke fellow reinforced my commitment to conducting and translating research to promote child and family well-being. The interdisciplinary discussions that were part of each of the meetings I attended absolutely influenced how I communicate with different audiences in my current role.

SW: What are you learning in your current research? What trends or changes in the field are you currently witnessing, if any?

ES: I find the data available from the National Survey of Early Care and Education really interesting. So far, OPRE has focused on describing the workforce providing care for children from this nationally-representative sample, although there are really exciting possibilities for more complex analyses. On the policy side, the Office of Child Care at ACF will be releasing the new regulations following the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. This has major implications for how states regulate and monitor child care providers, and of course there will be opportunities for researchers to help understand how the implementation of these new regulations affects children and families.

SW: How do you best translate what you are learning in your research activities to the practice communities with whom you collaborate?

ES: Relationships are really important. Policymakers and practitioners might not always have time, access, or interest in reading technical research findings, but the more we can build relationships with these partners, the better chance we have of being able to connect them with the right research at the right time. Plus, these relationships have the potential to inform and improve our research, from conceptualizing a potential study to understanding our findings in context.

SW: What advice would you give to those interested in applying for a policy fellowship?

Being open to learning new things and adapting to the needs of a policy environment are really important. Unfortunately, government offices can become silos just like academic disciplines; the interdisciplinary perspective from the Doris Duke Fellowship is a huge asset in terms of bringing child well-being and the prevention of maltreatment into conversations across policy areas.

Policy Update: California Passes Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

Death by firearm is consistently one of the top ten leading causes of injury and death among young people in the United States each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Injury Center, homicide by firearm is the fourth leading cause of injury death for children ages 5 to 9, the fourth leading cause of injury death for children ages 10 to14, and the second leading cause of injury death for youth ages 15 to 24. Legislation on guns may decrease gun violence and injuries or deaths of children and adolescents in the United States.

Earlier this summer, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law six bills that expand the definition of “assault weapon,” regulate assault weapons and certain types of ammunition magazines, and require background checks for those looking to sell and purchase different kinds of ammunition. The laws will go into effect at different times between January 2017 and July 2019. More information on the specific laws can be found in the American Public Health Association’s August Legislative Update.

 

Noteworthy Resources:   Support for Parents and Families of Children and Adolescents

Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0–8

In July, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Committee on Supporting the parents of Young Children released a report. Clare Anderson, Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, was a contributing member of the committee, and Chapin Hall’ Senior Research Fellow Deborah Daro served as a reviewer of the report.

According to the NASEM, Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0–8 “identifies parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with positive developmental outcomes in children ages 0–8. . . . The report makes recommendations directed at an array of stakeholders for promoting the wide-scale adoption of effective programs and services for parents and on areas that warrant further research to inform policy and practice.”

Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or At Risk of Homelessness

Earlier this month, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a report that summarizes existing evidence from the literature on strategies to be implemented in families for young people who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless. Family conflict, according to ASPE, is a key factor contributing to youth homelessness. Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or At Risk of Homelessness addresses common elements of effective family intervention strategies and demonstrates that additional research is needed to evaluate those strategies specifically designed to support key groups of youth that experience homelessness, including racial and ethnic minority young people and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer youth. 

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