Translational Drug Abuse Prevention (TDAP)

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

The TDAP will focus on broadening our understanding of underlying mechanisms that contribute to healthy development and testing practical interventions and implementation strategies to improve outcomes for children and families involved in U.S. child welfare systems.

Project Overview

OSLC, in collaboration with the University of Oregon and the University of Southern California, recently received a $9 Million grant from National Institute on Drug Abuse to launch the Translational Drug Abuse Prevention Center (TDAP). The grant is one of the largest ever received by OSLC.  The project, led by scientists Dr. Patricia Chamberlain and Dr. Phil Fisher, includes a group of multidisciplinary scientists from OSLC and its partner organizations, who will collaborate to create a national resource for cutting-edge, innovative research with studies spanning from basic science to implementation research in U.S. child welfare systems. Children and adolescents involved in child welfare are among the most disadvantaged individuals in American society and are at greatly elevated risk for drug use and related problems including delinquency, teen pregnancy, poor physical and mental health, homelessness, incarceration, and HIV-risk behaviors.  Moreover, long-term follow up studies show that even with existing community-based services, for many children involved in child welfare these problems prove intractable in to adulthood. The TDAP will focus on broadening our understanding of underlying mechanisms that contribute to healthy development and testing practical interventions and implementation strategies to improve outcomes for children and families involved in U.S. child welfare systems.

Year Project Began: 2013
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Principal Investigator

Patricia Chamberlain, Ph.D.

Science Director
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Chamberlain’s interest in developing interventions for children and families emerged from her early work as a special education teacher. She has conducted several studies on treatment for children, youth, and families in the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. She founded the Treatment Foster Care Oregon (formerly Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care/MTFC; www.tfcoregon.com) and KEEP (www.keepfostering.org) intervention models. TFCO is an alternative to group, residential, and institutional placement for youngsters with severe antisocial behavior and mental health problems. KEEP provides enhanced support and training to state foster and kinship parents to prevent placement disruptions, improve reunification rates, and reduce child behavioral and emotional problems. TFCO and KEEP are being widely implemented throughout the United States and in Europe (see www.tfcoregon.com and keepfostering.org). She has been the Principal Investigator on 9 randomized trials examining the efficacy of parent mediated intervention approaches. A current area of focus is on implementation research which examines what it takes to integrate and scale-up evidence-based practices in to real world agencies and systems. Most recently, she led an effort to implement linked evidence-based practices, including KEEP and PMT, in the New York City child welfare system involving over 300 case workers and supervisors serving over 2,000 children and families (CSNYC). Currently, she is leading an effort to implement KEEP and R3 in 10 Tennessee counties as part of In Home Tennessee, their Title IVE waiver program. Other recent work has also focused on the development of intervention models for adolescent girls in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. In addition to working on research aimed at improving outcomes for youth and foster and biological families, she is interested in how to support child public service systems to improve the efficiency of their routine practices. She is currently involved in helping communities in the U.S. and Europe implement and scale up evidence-based interventions. Dr. Chamberlain is a senior fellow at the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), and was inducted into the first cohort SPR Fellows in 2013.