First Round of UCLA Pritzker Center Seed Grants Announced

Seed Grants further interdisciplinary research, collaboration to benefit children and families.

The UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families has selected five interdisciplinary and community-based teams to receive the inaugural round of Seed Grants. The grants, made possible by the Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, are designed to encourage and further research and collaboration across the UCLA campus and throughout Los Angeles County to benefit children and families.

The one-year grants of up to $25,000 offer teams of UCLA faculty and staff from different schools or specializations the opportunity to undertake a research or services project in connection to the Pritzker Center’s goals. All grant projects must be done in partnership with a community organization or system working to support children and families in Los Angeles.

“The Seed Grants will bring our colleagues from across campus together with community leaders and advocates to support children and families,” says Tyrone Howard, Ph.D., Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education and the Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. “This funding will build interdisciplinary capacity and encourage university-community partnerships involving child welfare, foster care and preventing child maltreatment.”

By offering these seed grants, the UCLA Pritzker Center will build and enhance the network of university and community partners who share common goals. The recipients of the 2019 Seed Grants include:

1. Fatherhood and Preventing Foster Care: Carl Fleisher, MD, UCLA Department of Psychiatry; Todd Franke, Ph.D., UCLA Department of Social Welfare; Richard Cohen, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work; Kevin Gruenberg, Psy.D., community based early childhood and parenting consultant.

The role of fathers in child welfare is often ignored. Therefore, the grant recipients will undertake a needs assessment of fathers of young children in Los Angeles County who are at high risk for child welfare involvement, or are already involved in the foster care system.

2. Using the Power of Media to Positively Influence Foster Care Perceptions: Yalda Tehranian-Uhls, UCLA Department of Psychology; George Huang, UCLA Department of Television, Theatre and Film; Marianne Guilfoyle, Westside Children’s Center and Five Acres.

This project brings together researchers, community members and entertainment leaders to collaborate on how to use the power and scale of entertainment media to empower youth currently in the foster care system and destigmatize what it means to be a foster child through positive media portrayals. The project team will also work to educate and build awareness among the public about issues facing young people in foster care.

3. Improving Outcomes for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Child Welfare Involvement: Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi, MD, MSHPM, UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Division of Population Behavioral Health, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; Lillian Gelberg. MD, MSPH, UCLA Department of Family Medicine, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Sheryl Kataoka, MD, MSHS, UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; Patricia Lester, MD, Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Division of Population Behavioral Health, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA; Alison Hamilton, PhD, MPH, UCLA Department of Psychiatry, HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; Michelle Talley, LCSW, UCLA Department of Social Welfare; Michelle Tonn, Alexandria House

This grant will implement a community-partnered approach to deliver the Families Overcoming Under Stress (FOCUS) intervention to homeless families with child welfare involvement. The work aims to stabilize families facing homelessness, and assist them with establishing needed resources in order to thrive.

4. Strengthening Immigrant Youth and Families: Lisa Gantz, MD, Department of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, UCLA Department of Pediatrics; Alice Kuo, MD, UCLA Department of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy; Nina Rabin, JD, UCLA School of Law; Jaana Juvonen and Jennifer Silvers, UCLA Psychology Department; Sural Shaw, UCLA Department of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics; Rigo Reyes, Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs; Tomas Torices, MD: American Academy of Pediatrics.

The recipients will work together to establish the UCLA Immigrant Youth Task Force. They will also forge partnerships between the Task Force and community organizations focused on supporting and promoting the well-being of immigrant youth within LA County, with the goal of supporting families and preventing involvement with the child welfare system.

5. Adaptation and Implementation of a Specialized Reproductive Health Intervention for Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth in Child Welfare: Eraka Bath, MD, UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry; Sarah Godoy, UCLA Department of Psychiatry, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; Michelle Talley, UCLA Department of Social Welfare; Ed Fithyan and Adela Estrada, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; Susie Maldwin, MD, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Lesli LeGras, National Center for Youth Law Reproductive Health Equity Project; Lizette Caldera, AltaMed.

The grant recipients will implement an evidenced-based intervention strengthening reproductive health education for children and families affected by commercial sexual exploitation. The work aims to end the intergenerational cycle of foster care, which is often experienced by adolescent parents.

“The inaugural cohort of grant recipients exemplifies the stellar interdisciplinary, community-partnered research and collaboration happening at UCLA,” says Audra Langley, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and Co-Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. “These grants align closely with the mission of the Pritzker Center to leverage the University’s prevention and intervention resources to improve the lives of children and families across LA County, in partnership with the organizations and experts on the ground. We are thrilled to see their work unfold.”

The grant recipients were selected by the leadership team from the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families. The Center is a new UCLA campus-wide initiative made possible by a generous gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation. The new center will serve as a collaborative hub for research, prevention and intervention efforts, working to strengthen families to prevent children and youth from entering the child welfare system, and to support those involved in it.

 

For further information, contact Taylor Dudley, Administrative Director, at dudley@gseis.ucla.edu.