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University of Maryland Forms National Centers to Improve Child Well-Being

The University of Maryland School of Social Work has obtained federal funding to establish what the nation's first center for evidence-based practice in child welfare and to continue leadership in the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI).

The school's Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children (RYC) has been awarded a five-year, $5 million cooperative agreement from the Administration of Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Children's Bureau to establish the National Center on Evidence-Based Practice in Child Welfare, which is the first such center to be established.

The center aims to build the capacity of child welfare services staff, clinical mental health service providers, and child welfare and mental health agency leadership. The intent is to better identify and assess the effects of trauma and maltreatment on children and youths and to apply evidence-based treatments and services to enhance children's well-being.

The SSW is partnering with colleagues from the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavorial Sciences and the University of Colorado School of Medicine Kempe Center-in the design and implementation of the National Center activities.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to jointly work with child welfare and children's behavioral health systems to provide professional development and implementation support that will result in the adoption of evidence-based practices," says Leslie Rozeff, MSSW, director of the RYC's Child Welfare Academy. "Our goal is to create sustainable local capacity across the workforce that will ultimately enhance child and family well-being."

— Source: University of Maryland