Dr. Kaufman and her team conduct program evaluations, needs assessments, and evaluations of service delivery systems. The team provides consultation and technical support to state departments on issues such as the development of performance indicators, training and technical assistance plans to train community-based organizations to implement mandated reporting requirements, and utilizing data to inform program and policy development. In addition to our research on evaluation methodology our team works to identify risk and protective factors for children exposed to violence and for children at risk for severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.
My research has had three major emphases: 1) evaluation of the implementation of programs and systems of care; 2) evaluation methodology, including the training of community members to conduct evaluations; and 3) the examination of the impact of exposure to violence on young children. This research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Connecticut Department of Children and Families; Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Over the past 15 years, I have worked to develop and enhance a conceptual framework that guides the application of evaluation techniques and strategies. This framework, takes into account contextual factors and employs scientific rigor in the development and implementation of evaluations of community programs and systems of care. Over the past decade, I have also developed techniques to train community members in all aspects of evaluation and have, when possible, included client/consumer-led data collection in the evaluation of service delivery systems. Understanding the impact and incidence of children’s exposure to potentially traumatic events and the impact of this exposure on service outcomes is a third area of interest. For many years, I have embedded measures of children’s exposure to trauma in all my evaluation studies, and have used this data to understand the rate, type, and impact of this exposure on the receipt of services.
Currently I have three studies underway. The first study is an evaluation of Connecticut’s implementation of an integrated network of care for children with behavioral difficulties and their families. In this study, my team and I are examining the processes and outcomes related to the increased coordination of services provision at the state-level. This study also includes training family members and youth to collect data from their peers to examine consumer perceptions of the service delivery system. Second, I am a co-investigator overseeing the qualitative component of on a PCORI study exploring implementation and outcomes of two interventions targeting obstetric providers serving pregnant individuals who have an opioid use disorder. Finally, I am evaluating the outcomes of the implementation of two promising practices for children to reduce the impact of exposure to traumatic events. Future directions include further expansion of the work training community-members to conduct research through an application to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to improve healthcare systems for children. Finally, we are continuing to disseminate our findings related to the service outcomes for children exposed to potentially traumatic events. Data elements related to children’s exposure to trauma are embedded in all of our evaluation protocols.
Community Participation; Health Promotion; Social Justice; Program Evaluation; Qualitative Research; Community-Based Participatory Research; Psychiatry and Psychology; Health Equity; Stakeholder Participation
Behavioral Health; Health Care Management; Mental Health; Poverty and Economic Security; Child/Adolescent Health; Health Equity, Disparities, Social Determinants and Justice