Children and Family Programs Awarded Prestigious Grant

 CfP wins prestigious award

Children and Family Programs Awarded Prestigious Grant

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 8, 2018) — On October 4th, Dr. Allison Garefino, Clinical Director of the Children and Family Programs at the Center for Conflict Management, was invited to attend the 18th Annual Association of Conflict Resolution Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. She was a there to officially accept one of two $40,000 grants from the JAMS Foundation. Dr. Garefino was awarded the 2018 JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth.

Established in 2015, the Children and Family Programs (CFP) is a prevention, intervention, and treatment center where community members receive state-of-the-art evidence-based treatments for childhood disorders. It is also an internship site for students wanting experience in applied clinical work before they even graduate. Graduate students and interns learn and implement behavioral techniques as a way to prevent future academic, behavioral, and social failure for children at risk for various reasons.

The 2018 initiative for the JAMS Foundation was to support programs working with youth at risk for future gang affiliation. The JAMS Foundation identified several risk factors, including experiencing separation and loss. Over 85% of all foreign-born children and children born to foreign-born families are at some point separated from at least one parent. Further, they are also at risk for experiencing loss of family, community, and identity.

Dr. Garefino’s successfully funded program is allowing the CFP to partner with Carrie Madden, a teacher at Norton Park Elementary School in Smyrna, GA. As a way to increase parental engagement and foster a sense of community, she will be leading evidence-based parenting strategy workshops with families who speak English as a second language. Dr. Garefino is combining the parenting strategies workshops with Ms. Madden’s English courses. By the end of the project, Dr. Garefino will train permanent staff at Norton Park to continue to run these parenting workshops.

While their parents attend the workshop and classes, GRAs and interns work with their children implementing a manualized Social Skills group. During Social Skills, children work on Communication, Cooperation, Participation, and Validation while learning social emotional regulation techniques. Again, using a trainer of trainer model, by the end of the project, permanent staff at Norton Park will know how to implement Social Skills. By combining parenting strategies and Social Skills, Dr. Garefino and her team at CFP are able to provide families the most effective psychosocial prevention and intervention available. This work would not be possible without the JAMS Foundation/ACR Grant.