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Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

A study to see if intervention would help foster children transitioning to middle school avoid risky behaviors including drug and tobacco use, participation in HIV-risking sexual behavior, delinquency, mental health problems, and school failure.

Project Overview

The transition to middle school is an often challenging time as youth are exposed to more demanding academics and to social relationships with older peers. It is even more challenging for children in foster care. OSLC Scientist Patti Chamberlain earned a grant the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study whether an intervention will help foster children transitioning to middle school avoid risky behaviors including drug and tobacco use, participation in HIV-risking sexual behavior, delinquency, mental health problems, and school failure. Teens’ Risk During Transition: Preventing Drug Use, HIV & School Problems was a two-pronged intervention developed in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Price at San Diego State University and the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in California. The intervention focused on increasing parent and youth skills.

Year Project Began: 2012
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 high behavioral and emotional needs. KEEP provides enhanced support and training to state foster and relative parents to prevent placement disruptions, improve reunification rates, and to reduce parent stress and 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). Dr. Chamberlain has been the Principal Investigator on 9 randomized trials examining the efficacy of parent mediated intervention approaches. She has been the P.I. on two P50 Centers of Excellence. She currently is focused on implementation research with an emphasis on what it takes to integrate and scale-up evidence-based practices into real-world agencies and systems. Since 2012, she has led an effort to implement KEEP and Parent Management Training in the New York City child welfare system involving over 300 case workers and supervisors serving over 2,000 children and families at 11 sites (CSNYC). Currently, she is leading an effort to implement KEEP statewide in Tennessee 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. Dr. Chamberlain is a senior fellow at the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), and was inducted into the first cohort of SPR Fellows in 2013. In 2017 she received the Prevention Science award given for leadership and promoting positive public health impacts.