FL Institute for Child Welfare Research Awards

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2021
FL Institute for Child Welfare Research Award

Photo caption: (L-R) Dr. Marianna Colvin, associate professor; Dr. Morgan Cooley, associate professor; Dr. Heather Thompson, director of the Sandler School; Dr. Heather Howard, assistant professor; and Dr. Joy McClellan, MSW program coordinator

Each year, the Florida Institute for Child Welfare awards statewide affiliate awards, which funds translational research projects within the sphere of child welfare that will result in policy or practice recommendations.  Two of the three awards for 2021 were given to Sandler School faculty:

The first was the Affiliate Award for Priority Research given to Drs. Marianna Colvin and Morgan Cooley, co-PIs; Drs. Heather Thompson and Heather Howard, co-investigators; and Dr. Joy McClellan, co-significant contributor, along with Jill Carr, director of education and outreach for the FAU Theatre Lab. Their winning study, “Platform for Social Action: Engaging and Supporting the Voice of Youth in Foster Care Receiving Independent Living Services”, applies a participatory action research design utilizing photovoice methodology to understand foster care youth’s self-advocacy, self-determination, and connectedness to others.

The second was the Affiliate Award for Translational Research, given to Drs. Cooley, Thompson, Colvin and Howard for their study, A Mixed Methods Examination of Comfort Call Implementation in South Florida. This award is connected to the state legislature’s Qualitative Parenting Initiative and will fund efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of “comfort calls”, an innovative way to connect biological and foster parents within 48 hours of removal, with the goal of promoting more positive child outcomes.