In February of 2012, Dr. Charlyn Harper Browne and Susan Notkin of the Center for the Study of Social Policy presented in the NRCPFC Webinar, Focusing on Well-Being: Developing a Protective Factors Framework for Youth in Care. NRCPFC is pleased that they built on that presentation and provided updated information about their work in this event. During the past year, Dr. Harper Browne and Ms. Notkin further developed Youth Thrive, CSSP’s research-based Protective and Promotive Factors Framework for adolescents. Additionally, they have continued to explore ways in which this orientation and framework can be used to inform policies and practices in the child welfare system. The presenters provided an overview and description of Youth Thrive’s protective and promotive factors. The presenters also discussed recent work they have been doing and next steps related to the application of their findings to child welfare policies and practices and CSSP’s effort to identify exemplary programs that build these protective and promotive factors to support youth well-being and positive development. The webinar closed with a question and answer period.
Listening Time: 82 minutes
Charlyn Harper Browne, PhD is a Senior Associate and Project Director of the National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC) at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). Established in 2008, the QIC-EC is a 5-year cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau and is funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect. The QIC-EC was established to test evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches that build protective factors and reduce risk factors in order to increase the likelihood of optimal child development, increase family strengths, and decrease the likelihood of abuse and neglect among infants and young children. In addition to having responsibility for the management and implementation of the QIC-EC, Dr. Browne also is a member of two other project teams at CSSP: the “Strengthening Families Initiative” and the “Youth Thrive—Healthy Adolescent Development and Well-Being” project. In both cases, she is primarily responsible for contributing to the research base that is foundational to the projects. Prior to joining CSSP, Dr. Browne served as a college professor and administrator for 32 years teaching in undergraduate psychology departments and graduate counseling departments. Her educational background includes extensive post-graduate studies in clinical child and family psychology after earning a doctoral degree in early childhood education. Also, she holds a master’s degree in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Most recently, Browne was honored by ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families as a 2007-2009 Leaders for the 21st Century Fellow and by the Educational Testing Service as a Visiting Minority Scholar.
Susan Notkin is Associate Director at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and manages the organization’s work in child welfare systems reform. In this capacity she advances CSSP’s role in promoting responsive, progressive public services for children and families involved in the child welfare system. Ms. Notkin is leading CSSP’s Youth Thrive initiative which focuses on the protective and promotive factors that all youth need in order to achieve healthy adolescent development. Prior to joining CSSP, Ms. Notkin was the Director for the Children’s Program at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. During her 17 years with the Foundation, she created and implemented a 10-year $50 million grantmaking program entitled Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. The Community Partnerships approach pioneered public/private efforts focused on preventing and reducing child maltreatment through reforming the child welfare system and building family support networks. Earlier, Ms. Notkin directed the Foundation’s Program for Homeless Families. Before joining the Foundation, Ms. Notkin designed the New York City Child Protective Services Training Academy for the City’s child welfare agency. During the early 1980s, she held positions in the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, where she represented the rights of clients residing in mental health institutions, and directed the state’s agenda in child abuse prevention, child protection, early care and education and domestic violence. In 2001, Ms. Notkin was the recipient of the LEAD! Award from Women and Philanthropy for her “contributions on behalf of girls and women in this country and for work in child welfare and domestic violence.” She is on the board of the Institute for Community Peace and is the president of the board of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. Ms. Notkin holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin.
Focusing on Well-Being: Developing a Protective Factors Framework for Youth in Care
In this NRCPFC webinar, presenters provided an overview of research on youth development, resiliency, neuroscience, and the impact of trauma on brain development, and discussed how child welfare agencies and their partners can use this information to define and improve the overall well-being needs of youth in foster care. The presenters also put forward a newly expanded, research-based Protective and Promotive Factors Framework for adolescents that can serve as a guide for helping address the development needs of youth and improve their prospects for success. The event closed with a question and answer period. (February 2012)