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San Diego State University

Department of Child & Family Development

PACS Projects


Child Evaluation Enhancement Project (CEEP)
Funding: SDSU University Grants Program
Description:This project focuses on adapting tools from the Parent And Caregiver Active Participation Toolkit (PACT) for use in diagnostic evaluations for children at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Focus groups are being conducted with providers to inform the tool adaptation process and then a pilot study of the tools’ feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness to improve parent follow-through with evaluation recommendations will be conducted.

Examining Ethnic Disparities in Parent Engagement Strategies for Evidence-Based Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment (AIM HI-Supp)
Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Description: The primary goal of this research project is to examine disparities in how therapists engage parents in community-based mental health services for children with autism spectrum disorders. This project will also identify cultural factors that may explain ethnic differences in engaging parents and how to adapt an evidence-based intervention to reduce such disparities

Mixed Methods Adaptation and Pilot Testing of a Toolkit to Enhance Parent Participation in Home Visitation Programs (CREW)
Funding: Georgia State University/Annie E Casey Foundation
Description: The major goals of this project are to adapt a toolkit to promote parent participation in services and pilot the delivery of the toolkit as part of an evidence-based home visiting program for families in the child welfare system. 

Training Providers to Implement an Evidence-Based Early Intervention Parent Coaching Program (BRIDGE)
Funding: Autism Speaks
Description: The primary goal of this project is to examine the effectiveness of a training plan to teach agency trainers to implement and train others in an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorders. This project will also assess whether therapists trained by agency trainers deliver the intervention as intended and their ratings of satisfaction, acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility and sustainability of the training approach.

Training Providers to Sustain Implementation of an Evidence-Based Treatment for PTSD (CPT-Canada)
Funding: Canadian Institute of Health Research
Description: This research project aims to assess the effectiveness of two methods to support providers to sustain their use of an evidence-based practice they have received training for. The two methods are continuous quality improvement and fidelity monitoring.

Mental Health Services Act Innovation Projects Evaluation (INN-12)
Funding: San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency
Description: This evaluation project focuses on evaluating the delivery of an innovative program to enhance parent participation in family therapy in publicly-funded mental health services for low-income, diverse children and families in San Diego County.

Improving and Sustaining Implementation of Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD
Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Description: See CPT-Canada study


Developing and Piloting the Parent And Caregiver Active Participation Toolkit (PACT)
Funding: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Description: PACT (Parent and Caregiver Active Participation Toolkit) is a linked set of caregiver and therapist tools designed to increase caregiver participation in child/family mental health services. It is currently designed to be used in publicly-funded community mental health services with therapists’ who serve children ages 4-13 with disruptive behavior problems. PACT is based on research that caregiver participation in child therapy leads to more positive outcomes. PACT is designed to enhance and complement therapists’ existing practices rather than replace them, and can be used with most intervention practices and theoretical orientations. PACT was developed through an NIMH-funded, multi-phase study. Community stakeholders (caregivers, therapists, program directors, and program support staff) provided input to researchers throughout the process of creating and feasibility piloting of the materials as well as participated in creating some of the materials (i.e., the DVD). PACT has been piloted in a randomized controlled study of 29 therapists (14 in the toolkit condition and 15 in the usual care condition) across six community clinics in San Diego, California. A total of 20 caregivers were recruited from new cases on participating therapists’ caseloads.