UWM, CHW partner on Institute for Child and Family Well-Being

Children and families who face significant adversity have a new ally in the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being.

The institute is a multifaceted partnership between Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. Its threefold mission includes implementing effective programs, conducting cutting-edge research, and promoting change through policy and advocacy. Among its many goals: helping children by shrinking the time for research to be translated into clinical practices.

“This collaborative partnership reaches into the homes and schools of our communities with social impacts that span the region,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Equally important is the engaged research that will direct practices, programs and policies that promote health and well-being. Together, we are transforming lives.”

Joshua Mersky, co-director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being.
UWM Associate Professor Joshua Mersky, co-director of the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being. (UWM Photo/Derek Rickert)

Joshua Mersky, UWM associate professor of social work, and Gabriel McGaughey, director of well-being at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, will serve as the institute’s co-directors. It will be housed at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services Building.

A major aim is to help the 30.5 percent of children in Milwaukee who’ve had at least two adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse, neglect, violence or extreme poverty. The institute will provide training, consultation and technical assistance to help human service agencies support children and families exposed to significant adversity.

“Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s vision is that Wisconsin children will be the healthiest in the nation,” said Peggy Troy, CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “But ‘healthy’ doesn’t just mean that they aren’t sick or hurt. It means that they have the medical, emotional and social support systems and resources necessary to reach their full potential. The new Institute for Child and Family Well-Being will help us do just that.”

Mersky said the institute offers an uncommon interplay between researchers, practitioners and policymakers.

“Our work sits at the nexus of research, practice and policy,” Mersky said. “We’re interested in translating research into practice and policy, but we’ll also have the opportunity to translate practice and policy into research.”

More information about the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being can be found at its website: uwm.edu/icfw.

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