Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families Projects

Child Welfare Projects
We engage with state, local and tribal child welfare agencies and courts to help them develop and implement sustainable systemic reforms aimed at improving outcomes for children, youth and families. We provide expertise, technical assistance and tools in program and policy analysis, research, training (including curriculum development, delivery and evaluation), and program evaluation. The following projects illustrate our work in this area.

Early Childhood Education Projects
We conduct training, technical assistance, and applied research to inform early care and education practices at the national, state and local levels for state government, local schools and child care agencies, including Head Start and public pre-K programs. The following projects illustrate our work in this area.

Youth and Community Engagement Projects
Our research, promising practices, policy analysis and teaching provide a framework to engage with local, state and national organizations to help communities best serve children, youth and families. The following projects are examples of our work in this area.

Family Support and Empowerment Projects
Many families share circumstances that require interaction with multiple government agencies and systems of support (e.g. working poor families, families with children with special needs, immigrant/refugee families, families involved in the child welfare system). Too often, however, the perspectives of these families are not heard in the policy arena. To better inform policymakers, we employ mixed methods, including participatory research with families, to gain a thorough understanding of the challenges families face in navigating these systems and how these challenges affect their ability to care for their children and balance work and family.  We apply our understanding of these needs to policy recommendations and a wide variety of workforce and organizational development initiatives (e.g. public assistance programs, including TANF, MaineCare, and Food Stamps, child support enforcement; education and child care). The following projects are examples of our work in this area.

Profile of Rural Residential Care Facilities Chartbook

Profile of Rural Residential Care Chartbook Cover

Using data from the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities, this chartbook from the Maine Rural Health Research Center presents information on a slice of the rural LTSS continuum—the rural residential care facility (RCF).  Survey results identify important national and regional differences between rural and urban RCFs, focusing on the facility, resident and service characteristics of RCFs and their ability to meet the LTSS needs of residents.

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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

2014
MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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