Workforce Development:
Child & Family Policy Program

The Child and Family Policy Program (CFP) is an interdisciplinary doctoral level program that is a collaborative between the Research and Training Center and the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida, initiated in 1996 under the leadership of Dr. Albert Duchnowski, Deputy Director for the Center. The program was developed in order to train a new generation of researchers/evaluators who will supply leadership in developing community-based systems of care for children who have emotional and behavioral disabilities and their families.

Although the doctorate is offered through the College of Education, the program is multidisciplinary and encompasses the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, the College of Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students who enter the program bring a diversity of backgrounds that include special education, public administration, social work, and mental health professions. In addition to the core special education curriculum, doctoral students in the CFP are instructed and mentored by Center staff in content areas, research and evaluation methodologies, and are supervised in implementing community-based research initiatives. The intent of this program is to produce graduates who understand the systems of care approach, and are prepared to do research, policy, or administrative work related to systems of care. A heavy focus is on inter-agency collaboration, family participation, cultural competence, and the overall financing, organization, and evaluation of services and systems.

Other academic programs

The Center also participates actively with the College of Public Health in a specialty track at the master’s and doctoral level in public mental health. For this program, special courses have been developed and offered each year on topics such as children’s mental health service systems and cultural competence. These courses have been cross-listed with other related departments like Social Work and Counselor Education to increase accessibility. The Center also continues its active participation in the Certificate Program in Planning, Evaluation, and Accountability, and in the pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship program of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. This program is approved by the American Psychological Association and is one of the few programs in the country to offer training on policy issues as well as clinical training. Interns who have completed this program have had significant accomplishments, including one who works as a program officer for the National Institute for Mental Health in child services research, another who has conducted pioneering research in transition to adulthood, and others who are engaged in epidemiological research and work on increasing access to services for minority populations.


Albert Duchnowski, Ph.D.
Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute - MHC 2334
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612