Child and Family Studies Research Programs

CFSRP is a part of the Occupational Therapy Department, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

130 South 9th Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TLC Hotline: 215-503-4020
Fax: 215-503-1640

Improving the quality of services for families and their children with special needs in the communities in which they live.

Programs of Research

Child and Family Studies Research Programs' vision is the provision of high-quality, evidenced-based practices and services for children, families, and the communities in which they live. Our primary focus is on children and families living in high-risk, inner-city communities and children with disabilities or delays. Areas of practice emphasized in our work include the quality of child care provided for ALL children and family-centered early intervention services in natural environments.

Child Care

CFSRP has implemented a series of research and professional development activities with inner city child caregivers (Campbell, Milbourne, & Silverman, 2002a; 2002b). These externally-funded research and training activities resulted in the establishment of the Philadelphia Inclusion Network (PIN) which offers a series of training programs for child caregivers in family day care (i.e., family homes) and center-based settings and a number of research-based publications (Campbell & Milbourne, 2001a; 2001b; Campbell, Milbourne, & Silverman, 2001) about professional development. Through our work with inner child care programs, we have developed competence and expertise in working with child caregivers and in conducting quasi-experimental and qualitative research studies concerning the impact of professional development.

In our most recent study (Campbell & Milbourne, 2004) we made preliminary attempts to isolate the impact of consultation (when combined with a training course) on child care quality using a convenience sample of infant-toddler caregivers. We are currently developing a model for inclusion of children with significant disabilities in family and center-based child care, a project called ALL Kids Together. This project has established a successful network of child care programs, early intervention providers, Child Care Information Services (CCIS - the referral and resource agencies funded through the state Block Grant), and university training programs in one neighborhood in Philadelphia. Our initial efforts have produced data about how to best coordinate early intervention and child care services to impact positively on child (i.e., inclusion & developmental) outcomes.

Our work within child care has given us expertise in training, research, and dissemination both for the academic community and policymakers at the local, state, and national levels as well as an understanding of issues related to quality care for children from low income families such as the child care subsidy system. Some CFSRP staff serve on many city-wide and state task forces and committees regarding child care training and professional development, quality improvement, and other related activities. We have been actively involved in work with Pennsylvania Pathways (the state-wide training system for child care providers) and assisted in developing the standards for training programs and trainers who work within this system. All CFSRP staff working within our childcare training activities are certified quality trainers by Pennsylvania Pathways and our PIN training programs are certified by this same state-funded organization as meeting requirements for Pennsylvania Continuing Education credits for child caregivers.

Early Intervention

Our second practice area targets early intervention for families and their infants and toddlers who are at risk for poor school outcomes, have delayed development, or a known disability (e.g., cerebral palsy; Down syndrome). Specifically, we operate the Philadelphia city-wide training and technical assistance program, the Philadelphia Teaching and Learning Collaborative (TLC) and provide research-based training for approximately 450 service coordinators and professionals who work within the City's Early Intervention System, providing training and technical assistance activities designed to improve the quality of services provided by professionals and to impact on family, child, and system outcomes (e.g. Campbell & Halbert, 2002).

Our research in EI targets evidence-based family-centered practices within natural environments. We conduct studies that use a Participatory Action Research (PAR) model with early intervention practitioners and families to adopt use of evidence-based practices in early intervention. Other studies look at alternate ways of serving families and their infants and toddlers who are at risk for poor school readiness and less than optimal school outcomes. A series of national policy studies about assistive technology (AT) with infants and toddlers are being conducted through a five-year federally-funded research institute, Tots N' Tech.

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