Previous Grants


Our clinical research team has been awarded multiple federally-funded research grants to conduct studies that have led to the development of proven strategies and models for communities and clinical facilities throughout the country and have had a significant positive impact on the well-being of children and their families.

ACF Funded Project Thrive

Project Thrive was funded by the Children's Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families/US Department of Health and Human Services. The program was a collaborative effort of the Chicagoland Regional Partnership, a group of public and private agencies dedicated to the welfare of children. The agencies included in this partnership were:

Children's Research Triangle (CRT) - a community-based not-for-profit agency that provides comprehensive trauma-informed health and mental health services to children in out-of-home care;

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) - the state's child welfare agency responsible for administration of the State plan under Title IV-B and Title IV-E;

Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) - the state agency responsible for substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant monies;

SOS Children's Villages Illinois (SOS) - a non-profit child welfare agency that creates communities for larger sibling groups of children in out-of-home care;

Cook County Juvenile Court - the court system that oversees the welfare of the majority of Illinois' children in the child welfare system;

Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (OECD) - the legislated office in the governor's cabinet that is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all early childhood services in the state and is the lead agency implementing the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program in Illinois.

As part of Project Thrive, all youth residing at either of the partner SOS villages were screened for prenatal or environmental substance exposure. If they had a positive screen, they would then be evaluated and be provided with therapeutic services as needed. The project had three main components: system integration, safe children, and stable families, thus a large focus was on working with families as units, including both the foster parents and the biological parents. Through the collaborative efforts of the treatment team, the goal was to increase permanency and stability for the children at SOS.

PROJECT TEAM:

Project Director
Ira Chasnoff, M.D.

Project Coordinator
Erin Telford, Psy.D.

Assistant Project Coordinator
Eric Seto, Psy.D.

Project Evaluator
Anne Wells, Ph.D


MCHB Funded Prenatal Substance Use Prevention

The Maternal Child and Health Bureau (MCHB) awarded CRT a grant to develop a training and technical assistance program for Community Health Centers and Maternal and Child Health sites that would impact clinical practice in three areas: prevention, identification, and referral to treatment. We worked with clinics throughout the nation to guide clinicians in the screening of pregnant women for potential use of substances and children for evidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). All clinic personnel were trained to communicate the message that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy and to use educational materials to promote healthy pregnancies free of alcohol use.

PROJECT TEAM:

Project Director
Ira Chasnoff, M.D.

Project Evaluator
Anne Wells, Ph.D.

Evaluation Team
Lauren King, M.A. and Jessie Montes De’Oca, B.S.


Neurocognitive Habilitation Therapy

From 2001-2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded CRT to develop and evaluate a Neurocognitive Habilitation Project, involving the identification and assessment of children ages 6 - 12 with FAS or ARND.  CRT clinicians created a group therapy curriculum for the children and their parents designed to educate them about FASD's and give strategies for managing the neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, with a focus on learning techniques for self-regulation.  This curriculum was based on the Alert ProgramTM developed by occupational therapists, Mary Sue Williams and Sherry Shellenberger.

PROJECT TEAM:

Principal Investigator
Ira Chasnoff, M.D.

Project Director
Greg Bailey, Ph.D.

Therapists
Lauren King, M.A., Greg Bailey, Ph.D., Julia Das, M.A., Amy Groessl, LCSW, Stephanie Hart, M.A., Camilla Head, B.A., Dafna Lender, LCSW, Kim Lewis, M.A., Chris Payne, M.A., George Sach, M.A., Christine Schmidt, Psy.D., Lindsay Smith Bailey, M.S., Crystal Sullivan, B.A., Erin Telford, Psy.D.

Data Analyst
Anne Wells, Ph.D.

Research Assistants/Interns
Cheri Guerrero, Barbara Jandasek, M.A., Samantha McCurties, Djuro Petkovic


Neurocognitive Habilitation Therapy replication study/Parents and Children Together

This replication project, which was renamed Parents and Children Together (PACT), was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We conducted group therapy intervention for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois.  The group was open to foster and adopted children ages 6 - 12 living in the area who were prenatally exposed to alcohol.  We used a revised curriculum based on the one we used in the initial study.  Our focus continued to be on helping children learn self-regulation skills.  Parents learned about FASD's and how best to help their children compensate for their weaknesses.

PROJECT TEAM:

Principal Investigator
Ira Chasnoff, M.D.

Co-Principal Investigator
Linda Meyer, Ph.D.

Project Director
Anne Wells, Ph.D.

Training Director, Curriculum Revision Chair
Erin Telford, Psy.D.

Trainers
Greg Bailey, Ph.D., Lindsay Bailey, M.S., Amy Groessl, LCSW, Christine Schmidt, Psy.D.

Therapists in Champaign-Urbana
Colleen Berman, MSW, Lorraine Crummy, MSW, Jane Frefogle, LCSW, Vernessa Gipson, MSW, Amber Warner, MSW

Research Assistant-Champaign
Ava Wolf, Ph.D.

Research Assistants/Interns
Courtney Lawhn, Christy McCuen