Skip to main content

TRANSFORM’s mission is to impact the field of child maltreatment research, prevention, and intervention. In Promise, we are advancing the field by evaluating evidence-based interventions to determine when service provision is most likely to result in positive outcomes and to determine what type of service is needed based on the unique needs of economically disadvantaged women. The Adult Health Study will have major public policy implications by demonstrating the long-term health consequences of childhood maltreatment into adulthood. It is anticipated that TRANSFORM will create a transformative scholarly culture of innovation to inform the next generation of scientists who seek to advance knowledge on the effects, treatment, and prevention of child maltreatment. This culture will build on discoveries in multi-level analyses and be further informed by new research in prevention and intervention science, parenting, infant attachment, neuroscience, genetics and epigenetics, cultural differences, and consumer and marketing psychology. TRANSFORM will disseminate and provide outreach on the lessons learned not only from the proposed research, but also from decades of research by this investigative team. These initiatives will improve the uptake and impact of currently available evidence-based programs. Implicit in this goal is the need to translate research approaches that can be offered by real-world practitioners in various systems that serve diverse, underserved populations. To fulfill its mission, TRANSFORM will:

  • Provide infrastructure and access resources to support a multidisciplinary team of translational scientists spanning the fields of developmental psychopathology, intervention science, neuroscience, genetics, and law and the accompanying methodologies to examine the sequelae of child maltreatment.
  • Evaluate interventions to foster adaptive parenting and infant outcomes that can be exported to real- world community settings, and consider law as an agent of change in children’s lives by helping legal, child welfare, and medical professionals understand and use this important area of science.
  • Partner with leaders of various community systems-of-care who serve high-risk youth to support implementation of evidence-based approaches in settings where they will ultimately produce the greatest public health impact: courts, medical/mental health offices, child welfare social services, etc.
  • Interface with various stakeholder groups across multiple child-serving systems (child welfare, legal, education, physical and mental health, law enforcement, advocacy groups, funders and policymakers) through a program of community engagement that will lead to dissemination of the products of the TRANSFORM research.
  • Provide education, mentoring/training, pilot funding opportunities, and career development coaching for early career professionals (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early career investigators) to cultivate translational science skill sets that will launch the next generation of child maltreatment investigators and practitioners.
  • Disseminate research findings via traditional routes (e.g., publications and presentations at professional conferences) and with additional initiatives (e.g., website, newsletter, TRANSFORM-sponsored webinars and conferences, social media, and mobile applications).
Transform Organization Collaboration Logos
The University of Rochester (UR)

The University of Rochester is a top-rated RI (Highest Research Activity) university known for its highly collaborative environment, dedicated to supporting basic and translational research. The University is home to more than 2,000 faculty and instructional staff and more than 10,500 students. The compact nature of the campus fosters a high degree of interchange among the various schools, units, and its affiliates, and the proximity of its medical center and hospital to the main College campus is unusual, compared to peer institutions of similar size and impact. Spanning more than 165 buildings and facilities, UR is comprised of six academic divisions, which collectively provide more than 60 undergraduate majors and over 30 graduate programs. UR is one of 62 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities and one of 35 members of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Mt. Hope Family Center, TRANSFORMs UR location, is part of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (AS&E). UR is dedicated to education through the doctoral degree, with highest priority on the development and dissemination of effective research. The University consistently finds itself within the top colleges and universities receiving funding for research and other sponsored activities. UR’s continued high ranking is a significant indicator of the quality of the research conducted, of the faculty who perform such research at the University, and of the staff who support their efforts in laboratories and offices throughout the University.

The University currently ranks 45th in federally financed research and development expenditures to academic institutions, and 5th in federal obligations for science and engineering in New York State. Additionally, UR was noted as 32nd among national universities, 41st for schools in engineering and applied science (US News & World Report, 2016), and 29th among graduate schools for medical research (same, 2016). UR is a leading economic engine in the Upstate New York Region, and the largest single employer in the Rochester area. Research expenditures in the last five fiscal years for which data is available (FY 2012 – 16) totaled $1.8B. In FY 2016, the University of Rochester was granted 48 U.S. patents and 21 foreign patents. These 69 patents cover 56 different technologies and licensing income in FY 2016 exceeded $22.5M. In 2016 the University launched its largest comprehensive capital campaign in the University’s history, the Meliora Challenge, which exceeded its $1.2B goal.

Mt. Hope Family Center

University of Rochester’s Mt. Hope Family Center was established in 1979 as a Center designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and to do so with sensitivity to ethnic and racial diversity. Indeed, MHFC has a history of conducting rigorous empirical research with maltreated children and their families for nearly four decades. While under the direction of Dante Cicchetti, MHFC became a national and international leader in state-of-the-art research that advanced the field of child maltreatment and established the field of developmental psychopathology. The establishment of the journal Development and Psychopathology has provided a forum for advancing research and disseminating high impact studies nationally and internationally. After Dr. Cicchetti joined the faculty at the UMN and Dr. Toth assumed the role of Director in 2005, MHFC continued leading-edge research and collaboration that broadened the reach of its research endeavors. Because MHFC provides evidence-based treatment for maltreated children and their parents, in addition to implementing research projects, it is locally and nationally known for incorporating research investigations on the needs of maltreated children into treatment programs for traumatized children and their families. As a member of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network, MHFC provides trauma treatment and training in evidence-based interventions that is recognized nationwide. TRANSFORM is a unique partnership between UR and the University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota: Institute for Translational Research in Children's Mental Health

Founded in 1851 as the state’s land grant institution, the University of Minnesota (UMN) is one of the most comprehensive public universities in the United States, ranking among the most prestigious. The mission of UMN’s Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health (ITR) is the advancement of quality research, evidence-based clinical training and information dissemination to promote the mental health and social, emotional, and cognitive development of at-risk children ages zero to 18. To ignite improvements and bridge the gap from research to practice in children’s mental health, ITR applies findings from research into evidence-based training and awareness building in the community. ITR is a hub for mental health researchers to provide leadership on children’s mental health research, training, and services within the University, the state, nationally, and internationally. ITR hosts annual symposia, quarterly colloquia, and summer fellowships. Dr. Dante Cicchetti serves on the ITR leadership team as Director of Research, and his life’s work is dedicated to understanding the effects of child maltreatment.

ITR is affiliated with the UMN College of Education and Human Development, and works to advance quality research, evidence-based clinical training, and information dissemination focused on children’s mental health and development from birth to 18 years of age.

University of Rochester: Department of Psychiatry

The Department of Psychiatry at UR is focused on providing outstanding care to patients and families, educating future generations of mental health professionals, creating new knowledge, and fostering productive collaborations in our region and beyond. Patient care is comprised of a wide variety of ambulatory and inpatient services and programs. The Department has developed an outstanding tradition of community partnered research, emphasizing the creative interaction of molecular, intervention, and prevention sciences. Exceptional clinicians work with persons of all ages who suffer severe mental disorders, and collaborate with colleagues to promote the wellbeing of patients in primary care, specialty settings, and in the broader community. For many years the department has sought to ‘take down walls’ and work in an integrated fashion with community partners to assure access to care for those who have limited financial resources. The TRANSFORM Community Engagement Core (CEC) is housed at the Department of Psychiatry,  Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization (LIVV) and the Susan B. Anthony Center.

LIVV, directed by CEC Director, Catherine Cerulli, J.D., Ph.D., draws together researchers and practitioners across multidisciplinary fields to facilitate the rigorous investigation of violence and victimization, emphasizing public health and prevention perspectives, and focusing primarily on violence. LIVV faculty primarily address social, cultural, and psychological risk factors of violence, viewed through the lenses of ‘the law’ and ‘mental health.’ This work has been organized under three broad headings, Community Service, Education, and Research. The proposed CEC is at the heart of LIVV activities, approaching child maltreatment interventions as an agent of change through child-serving systems.

Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership

The Susan B. Anthony Center was founded in 1997, and has been focusing on issues of primary importance to women and families. Affiliated faculty, staff, trustees and/or alumnae, who have achieved significant professional stature and influence and compiled a commendable, trailblazing body of work, lend their expertise to assist moving policy forward. Students have volunteer opportunities and are able to learn through being in the community and putting their classroom experiences into practice. Dr. Cerulli assumed the Directorship in September of 2012 and is moving the Center into the direction of focusing energies where policy, research and practicality intersect.

Educational Development Center, Inc.

The Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a global non-profit organization founded in 1958 and based in Newton, MA with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City. EDC’s staff of approximately 1,700 work on more than 79 projects in public health as well as 271 projects in science and mathematics education, international development, early childhood education, and other topics. EDC has expertise in training and technical assistance (TA), technology applications, research, evaluation, and the operation of large, complex national resource and TA centers. They have more than two decades of experience in health, mental health, substance abuse, and injury and violence prevention, which includes a long-standing history of working with CDC and other federal, state, and local agencies to develop and disseminate evidence-based injury and violence prevention resources.