October 2018 Newsletter


Public Charge Blog


Cohort Two fellow, Megan Finno-Velasquez, authored a blog post for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab in response to the proposed changes to the public charge rule for immigrant families. Megan continues to work ceaselessly to promote the well-being of immigrant children and their families.

Megan is the Director of the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare, a project of the New Mexico State University School of Social Work, that focuses on the intersection of immigration and child welfare. To get biweekly updates and announcement, sign up for their newsletter.


PolicyLab MIECHV Report

Cohort Four fellow and Deputy Director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab, Meredith Matone, recently reported to the state of Pennsylvania on the evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) in partnership with Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

The PolicyLab report highlights how the expansion of MIECHV in 2010 continues to positively impact the lives of families while also putting a spotlight on challenges they still endure. For more information, there is a webinar and research brief that highlight the findings.


Fellows at Chapin Hall Training Collaboration


In early October Cohort Three fellow, Kaela Byers, and Cohort Two fellow, Megan Finno-Velasquez, spent two days at Chapin Hall as members of the Toxic Stress Study team that is evaluating pediatric practices to empower families and prevent or mitigate toxic stress. They co-led PICCOLO measure training for 16 data collection staff. The PICCOLO, an observational tool focusing on parent/child play, requires continuous scoring certification through video recording and reviewing.

The study team is implementing the PICCOLO in order to examine the relationship between innovations in pediatric practice and parent-child relationships for families reporting variations in environmental risk and resilience. This assessment adds rich dimension to the study’s family data which is otherwise captured through self-assessment and by accessing child medical records.

The training was an overall success. As Megan stated, “we brought everyone together in Chicago to prepare them for the most complex wave of data collection. Seeing their engagement in this training gives me confidence that they have the skills they need to use the PICCOLO tool in the field. This is really a great milestone in the study.”

The Toxic Stress Study team continues to work with their data collection staff to ensure that they are staying valid in their certification in order to help capture another layer in every family’s story.


Fellows Updates:


Scott Brown, Cohort Six fellow, recently won an award from the Raymond Vernon Memorial for best paper from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Scott collaborated with Beth Shinn, his academic mentor, as co-authors. The published article summarizes the Family Options Study Findings.




Kyndra Cleveland, Cohort Five fellow, was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for her research focusing on parent strengths, engagement, and reunification & re-entry outcomes.      


Jay Miller, Cohort Two fellow, was named a recipient of the 2018 Sunny Andrews Award Recipient for Outstanding Commitment to Social Work. Jay also recently co-authored a book, titled:  Activating a Teaching-Learning Philosophy: A Practical Guide for Educators.


Upcoming Dates: