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Research & Special Projects - Archives of Research and Special Projects

Maine Adolescent Transition Partnership Project

Project Director: Elizabeth DePoy, Ph.D.
Funded by: Maine Department of Human Services; Maternal and Child Health Bureau

The Maine Adolescent Transition Partnership project is designed to enhance the successful transition to adulthood, productivity, and financial independence for the diverse population of adolescents with special health care needs through the development, implementation, evaluation and expansion of a collaborative, accessible, comprehensive, culturally competent, model program. The project began with a participatory action needs assessment study, following by an adolescent-centered planning process. The project is in its fifth year and has accomplished significant systems change through promoting youth leadership, updated, comprehensive, web-based listing of transition and related services in Maine, and the development of a statewide partnership infrastructure to continue to study and respond to the needs of adolescents.

 

Servicebot: Translation and Usability of Robotic Assistance for Individuals with Paralysis

Project Director:  Elizabeth DePoy, Ph.D.
Funded by Chris and Dana Reeve Foundation

The Servicebot alpha prototype was developed through a small grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and University of Maine Faculty Research funds. This robotic device was designed to carry and place objects for a user. Servicebot tracks and follows its user remotely and offloads objects to a level surface.

 

Tobacco Access Portal Initiative II

Project Director:  Elizabeth DePoy, Ph.D.
Funded by the American Legacy Foundation

In collaboration with Trefoil Corporation of Orono, Maine, and the Bangor Literacy Center, this project involved the development, evaluation, and dissemination of a web portal that translates existing tobacco prevention, cessation and control websites into low literacy and accessible formats.

 

The Kmihqitahasultipon Project: “We remember”

Project Evaluation Directors: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. & Winston Turner, Ph.D.
Funded by: US Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Mental Health Services Administration

The Kmihqitahasultipon Project was submitted by the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township, Maine in response to GFA No. SM 97-007, Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families. The five year project addresses significant and critical needs for Passamaquoddy children, youth, and families through the development, implementation, evaluation, and ongoing sustainability of a comprehensive, individualized, culturally competent, family driven, community based system of care for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. The project expands case management/care coordination services, intensive in-home services, “reculturation” activities, interagency collaboration efforts, and consolidation of child mental health policies and funding. The University of Maine School of Social provides the Project Evaluation Team, as well as professional education opportunities for Passamaquoddy staff in order to increase the numbers of professionally educated bi-lingual providers at Indian Township. The project also provides yearly financial assistance to several graduate students who are employed to assist with evaluation activities. The major goal of the Kmihqitahasultipon Project is to renew Passamaquoddy culture and traditions to the daily life of Indian Township families and children for the purpose of improving overall community well being. The name of the project, Kmihqitahasultipon, is Passamaquoddy for “we remember.” The name was chosen by Tribal elders because of the belief of the community that the program reflects a renewal of the values and beliefs that are inherent to the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The Kmihqitahasultipon Project is a “bringing back what was once here.” The name is a derivative of the phonetic spelling found on the wood carvings of Tomah Joseph, a chief and artisan who lived 100 years ago. Tribal elders have translated and written down Chief Tomah Joseph’s words as meaning “I remember” and “remember me.” Thus, Kmihqitahasultipon means “we remember.”

 

Mawamkapasine Program

Project Evaluation Coordinator: Winston Turner, Ph.D.
Funded by: US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

The Expanded Substance Abuse Treatment Project proposal (the Mawamkapasine Program), was submitted by the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township. A collaborative link with the University of Maine School of Social will provide for the Project Evaluation Team, as well as professional education opportunities for Passamaquoddy staff in order to increase the numbers of professionally educated bilingual and bicultural providers at Indian Township. The three year project addresses significant and critical needs for Passamaquoddy members through the development, implementation, evaluation, and ongoing sustainability of a comprehensive, individualized, culturally competent, family driven, community based system of care for adults with substance abuse problems. The project builds on the current Children’s System of Care initiative, Kmihqitahasultipon (We Remember), in order to expand existing substance abuse services. The project also provides yearly financial assistance to graduate students who are employed to assist with evaluation activities.

 

Professional BSW and MSW Social Work Education with Native American Students.

Project Directors: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. Diane Haslett, Ph.D., & Nancy Kelly MSW
Funded by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children, Youth and Families

This four-year project addresses a significant and critical training need both in the State of Maine and nationally through the expansion and development, implementation, evaluation, and institutionalization of competency-based Tribal Child Welfare curriculum for Native American BSW/MSW students in the State of Maine.  Using innovative and targeted recruitment strategies, a total of eight Native American students will be selected for the BSW or MSW program at either the UM School of Social Work or the UMPI Department of Social Work.  The eight Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) trainees will be supported through their respective programs.  The existing BSW and MSW programs will be revised to provide ICWA trainees, as well as other BSW/MSW students, with the knowledge and skill necessary to achieve excellence in Indian child welfare services in the state.  This project is collaboration between the University of Maine School of Social Work and the University of Maine at Presque Isle Department of Social Work.

 

Professional Social Work Education for Native American Students in the State of Maine

Project Directors: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. & Kim-Anne Perkins, M.S.W.
Funded by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children, Youth and Families

This is a collaborative project between the University of Maine (UM) School of Social Work and the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) Department of Social Work. Using innovative and targeted recruitment strategies, a total of seven American Indian students will be selected for the baccalaureate social work program at either the UM School of Social Work or the UMPI Department of Social Work. The seven Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) trainees will be supported through the junior and senior year of their respective program. The existing Baccalaureate social work programs will be revised to provide ICWA trainees, as well as other BSW students, with the knowledge and skill necessary to achieve excellence in child welfare services in the state. The purpose of this project is to expand services to Native American children and families by increasing the number of professionally educated Native American social work students seeking employment in Indian Child Welfare.

 

Professional Social Work Education for American Indian Students at the University of Maine

Project Directors: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. & Diane Haslett, Ph.D.
Funded by: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children, Youth and Families

This project addresses a significant and critical training need both in the State of Maine and nationally through the development, implementation, evaluation, and institutionalization of competency-based Tribal Child Welfare curriculum for the professional education of child welfare staff. Using innovative and targeted recruitment strategies, five American Indian students will be selected for the BA in Social Work Program at the University of Maine. The five Indian Child Welfare (ICW) trainees will be supported through their junior and senior year of the program. The existing BASW program will be revised to provide ICW trainees, as well as other BASW students, with the knowledge and skill necessary to achieve excellence in child welfare services in the state. Native American BASW and MSW graduates will provide curriculum input, act as field instructors, support recruitment and mentoring activities for new students, and assist in development of field internships.

 

Research on the Parents as Scholars Program

Project Directors: Sandy Butler, Ph.D. & Luisa Deprez, Ph.D. (University of Southern Maine)
Funded by: National Center on Adult Learning ($5,000)

Maine, one of only two states in the country to promulgate a welfare reform strategy that assured welfare recipients access to post-secondary education, created the Parents as Scholars (PaS) Program. Data from over two hundred comprehensive questionnaires will be analyzed to center questions of inquiry around issues that include the following: What does it “take” for poor women with children to continue post-secondary education? Who can “accomplish” post-secondary education and under what circumstances? What institutional supports are available and essential to poor women’s pursuit and successful accomplishment of higher education? What are these women’s goals and aspirations?

 

Employment and Life Experiences of AFDC/TANF Participants in Maine

Project Director: Sandy Butler, Ph.D.
Funded by: University of Maine Faculty Research Funds

In 1995, in collaboration with advocacy organizations in the state, a 20-page survey (The AFDC Parent Survey) was sent to a random sample of all AFDC families in Maine to ascertain information on their lives, employment and welfare receipt histories. Survey results (n=929) were used to change the focus of state welfare debate from one focused on behavior to one focused on the structural barriers facing welfare families. The 1995 survey results informed state welfare policy prior to federal welfare reform in 1996 (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). In 1998 a follow up survey was sent to all those respondents who had given us their names to learn about their lives three years later. These results were also utilized by advocacy organizations to help pass some of the most progressive state welfare laws in the nation after PRWORA.

 

Community Mental Health Field Instruction Unit

Project Directors: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. & Nancy Kelly, MSW
Funded by: Maine Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services

The overall purpose of this project is improve the delivery of community-based mental health services to children and adults with serious mental illness and their families by: a) increasing the number of professionally educated BASW and MSW students successfully completing community mental health field internships and seeking employment in community mental health. Each year, two BSW and four MSW students receive stipends and complete internships in community mental health. This project also provides funding for the School of Social Work collaboration with the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Student Health Center, and other UM departments in sponsoring Mental Illness Awareness Week at the University of Maine.

 

Maine Housing Alternative Project

Project Evaluation Coordinators: Gail Werrbach, Ph.D. & Winston Turner, Ph.D.

Funded by: US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Mental Health Services Administration & the Maine Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services

The Maine DMHMRSAS was one of ten sites nationwide to receive funding from CMHS for the Housing Initiatives I Grant (9-1-97 to 8-31-98). The Phase I study examined Supported Housing and other community-based housing programs and support services through a process evaluation. CMHS worked with a coordinating center and a steering committee representing all ten sites to develop fidelity measures to define Supported Housing. All ten sites used this process to examine Supported Housing at their site. In its Phase I study, the Maine site found high fidelity for all of the required measures in Supported Housing. The Phase II study examines the effectiveness of Supported Housing.

 

Interdisciplinary Disability Studies

Coordinator: Elizabeth DePoy
Funded by: Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Maine

Since 1979, disability studies have seen extensive scholarly advancement and have undergone major philosophical shifts. Disability Studies in the 21st century, while not eliminating the study of medical conditions from its scope, is now located within the larger context of human diversity. This expanded perspective provides the framework for examining and analyzing disability as a category of human variation that is informed by physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, professional studies, and technology. Offered through The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, the program focuses on universal access and social change. Elective courses and concentrations at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels of study are offered.


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